Work in progress: Enterprise 2.0
A JWT Trendletter, September 2008
If Web 2.0 represents a new stage in consumer technology, the next wave is all about Enterprise 2.0 -- putting those tools to work in organizations.The trend is driven in part by the newest generation of employees entering the workforce (aka Millennials or Gen Y), who are demanding the collaborative, open source, self-publishing and social networking tools with which they've grown up.
Enterprise 2.0 has the potential to breed more internal innovation, collaboration, communication and agility, and to better leverage relationships with customers and other stakeholders. It will help develop the flat, fast and flexible businesses of the future, where ideas are free from hierarchical, geographical or technological constraints.
- What are the tools that fall under the Enterprise 2.0 umbrella? What type of workplace culture do they best complement?
- How can this technology help employees work better? And how can it help organizations run more efficiently and, ultimately, improve the bottom line?
- What factors are helping to push Enterprise 2.0 adoption?
- How are organizations like the CIA, Pfizer and Best Buy using social networks and wikis? How are they benefiting?
- How can 2.0 tools help foster innovation?
- What are some best practices for implementing Enterprise 2.0?
Online consumers can access a multitude of sophisticated tools from anywhere -- Wikipedia for collaborative authoring, Facebook for social networking, Delicious for social bookmarking, Twitter for microblogging, etc. Yet many employees are saddled with the same old desktop-based applications they've had since Web 1.0. This is quickly changing as Millennials enter the workforce with expectations of using 2.0 tools and a work style that aligns with a 2.0 mentality.
These Enterprise 2.0 applications -- from blogs,wikis and social networks to RSS feeds and social bookmarks -- help employees share and organize information, connect, collaborate and feel they have a voice within the organization. They also broaden horizons, flatten hierarchy and capture knowledge from employees who quit or retire. They tend to be most valuable in large organizations spread across offices and time zones.
The potential benefits of Enterprise 2.0 are many: increased innovation, shorter development cycles, more engaged employees, better communication, more agility within the organization. But it requires leaders to give up some control -- to empower employees and place more trust in them. This will likely prove the biggest barrier to adoption. Smart businesses will focus as much on creating a 2.0 culture -- one that's bottom-up rather than top-down, flat, agile, participatory and transparent -- as adopting the tools that go with it.
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