Tangible Benefits of E2.0 - Part 1: The Bad News
By billy.cripe on Apr 30, 2009
For a long time enterprise 2.0 advocates and pundits have been proclaiming the benefits of the emergent technology, the approach to daily work and the culture of participation. In some ways this is to be expected. The proponents usually have a stake in persuading others that this new shift is worth making. The early adopters want others to take up the same technology because it yields network effects and helps to assuage fears that they might have made a mistake.
But after a while we should start hearing success stories from the field. We should start seeing empirical evidence that the pundits were right...or wrong. Fortunately the evidence is coming in and there are two important findings that emerge, one positive, one negative.
In Part 1 of this short Tangible Benefits of E2.0 series I'll cover the bad news. Part 2 will cover the good news.
OK, Bad news first. Organizations that are simply implementing social networking, wikis, blogging, collaboration, and social marketing technology are *failing*. Most of you should be swallowing hard right now. Hand wringers - cue the wringing. But closer analysis suggests that there is something missing here. Much of the failure is coming from organizations jumping on the band wagon without any idea of where it is going or how to drive it. Simply implementing technology for technology's sake will never work. It's like having a whole team of fantastic footballers who are great at passing and moving and have got the fanciest footwork there is but have no idea that they are supposed to make goals. Sorry, but that team will always lose!
If you are only looking to "buy some E2.0", go home. Study up some more. You are more likely than not to fail and that will make my technology look bad and you wont want to buy any more from me. And therein is the first lesson learned: Purpose is Preeminent. Don't bother with the technology unless you have a business problem it is designed to solve. A corollary is that the solutions should not be fundamentally disruptive. Disruptive technology thwarts user adoption by changing focus and attention to the technology itself rather than on the purpose the technology is supposed to serve. Keep solutions "in-the-flow" of daily routines and task execution to better secure adoption. Keep the technology as transparent as possible for the end user to better capture the network effects that are desired.