I totally and enthusiastically agree with Dan. Far too often Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are discussed solely in terms of technology. If you deploy blogs, congratulations, you are an example of Enterprise 2.0. Have a wiki? Fine - we'll call you Enterprise 2.0 too. Only when you address "change" across business, organizational and technology do you catalyze new work models and new ways of working. Below (this is timely as well), I've included the synopsis of a paper I am submitting today on social software trends.
Stop with Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0, etc. I've said it before and I will say it again and again. Analysts at Gartner and Ovum (read Enterprise 2.0 will bring radical change in organizations here) continue to beat the drum of change with only technology in mind. If that was the case, enterprise 2.0 happened when the computer first showed up in big overly cooled rooms, and 3.0 occurred when PCs grew from hobby devices into computing support for distributed human networks that empowered people to take control of their own information and analysis, and 4.0 took place when networks connected these devices, and then the web, and then...we aren't in manufacturing and our conceptual frameworks don't need version numbers. Today's reality is today's reality and then there is the future. Putting names and version numbers around the totality of our organizations or technology doesn't help managers make better decisions. We will never go back to previous models for maintenance and support so let's get real and stop selling concepts that don't map to what is important.
Expressing technology value in a business context is fundamental for strategists to gain credibility as they explore new work models made possible through social systems. While often over-hyped (e.g., “Web 2.0”, “Enterprise 2.0”), social software does offer business and IT leaders the opportunity to redefine work structures and ways of working if coupled with organizational change (not just new tools). Positioning social software as a “change agent” in-and-of-itself sets unrealistic expectations. A more comprehensive portrayal of social software will delineate how such solutions help drive innovation, growth, productivity and related human capital management goals. Here's a snippet from an upcoming overview:
Trends In Social Software
Social software is a topic that can mystify, excite, or confuse business and IT strategists. Part of the reason is that three different groups—business leaders, IT strategists, and contrarian thought leaders— all view social software differently.
Business leaders often view social software through the lens of consumer market trends (e.g., user-generated content) and media coverage of popular Internet sites (i.e., Facebook). By duplicating these social platforms with an enterprise context, executives believe that they can harness the participatory nature of these environments and direct user contributions in ways that support strategic innovation and growth objectives while also addressing strategic talent initiatives.
IT strategists often view social software quite differently, considering such tools as part of the natural progression of existing collaboration and content platforms. By continuing to consolidate on common infrastructure and avoid distractions by “shiny new things”, these decision makers feel confident that they can attain the same organizational benefits.
There are also contrarian thought leaders that earnestly represent social software as a disruptive wave of next generation technology. These strategists believe that social systems shift power from managerial ranks to everyday workers enabling the enterprise to improve organizational agility by distributing decision-making across networks and communities.
The inconvenient truth across these diverse perspectives is that each viewpoint is essentially correct. Organizations should consider consumer trends as a source for new work models. There are clear business and technology benefits through a platform approach towards social software. Specialized solutions can play a crucial role in delivering compelling social applications. Transforming social structures within an organization to leverage community relationships across a network of customers, partners, suppliers, and employees has become a key competency demonstrated by high performing enterprises. While technology is one key participant in such change efforts, strategists need to assess technology trends within a broader context that includes societal, economic, political and other factors.
Unifying these diverse perspectives across various business and IT audiences requires organizations to understand how social systems augment business strategies, how social software enables new ways of working, where social applications help catalyze emergent collaboration, and what best practices are influencing adoption patterns in the market.