Web 2.0 vs Enterprise 2.0 vs Social Apps
By billy.cripe on Sep 19, 2007
There's a lot of writing about "Web 2.0" and "Enterprise 2.0" and even "Social Apps". It seems that while Web 2.0 is generally accepted as surrounding and loosely describing a set of technolgies and products, "Enterprise 2.0" has the ire of some. Most think the term itself is lame. Ok. maybe. But There are some important distinctions that the lexical difference between "web" and "enterprise" 2.0 encapsulates.
The biggest difference I see in the concepts signified by the terms is that Web 2.0 is inherently individually focused while Enterprise 2.0 is inherently organizationally focused.
The public interacts with web 2.0 technology from a user centric standpoint while the enterprise interacts with web 2.0 technology from a data centric standpoint. This drives adoption patterns, popularity curves, and benefit analyses.
For example, the public's adoption of Facebook for example is largely driven by the desire to connect with "friends". Social book-marking is used to share favorite sites with "friends", Twitter status pings are used to notify friends of what is happening now. The enterprise adoption of social networking technology has been slower because the goal of business is to generate revenue, not make friends. Updates on DATA rather than users is important and this has driven the enterprise to be much quicker to adopt RSS and subscription and even wiki technology than social network technology.
The public is driven by individual considerations ("what do I want to use for me, now?"). This enables and empowers them/us to use/subscribe to/log on to disparate tools and systems. People have no qualms about using Flickr for photos, LinkedIn for social networking, Twitter for status updates, Last.fm for music listening and a host of Instant Message clients for chatting. The web browser and the internet provides enough "platform unity" to meet their needs.
The enterprise, however, is driven by corporate considerations ("what do our employees need to increase productivity/revenue/customer satisfaction/etc?"). This forces a much closer scrutiny and slower adoption of web 2.0 technology in an "Enterprise 2.0" framework for the following reasons:
1. cost is multiplied over the number of individuals in the enterprise
2. critical mass of employee adoption must be guaranteed for the technology/tool to be worthwhile
3. the tools/technology must be supportable and useful for a group bound by the common purpose of the corporate mission not an individual bound by their own desires.
Insofar as "social apps" successfully meet the criteria above (and maybe others) they will be developed/bought/sold/deployed/adopted.
What I personally see in the ECM space is the "enterprise 2.0 - ification" of ECM technolgies to enable "social app" behaviors and capabilities to the already core set of ECM services. RSS Feeds and Wikis and Blogs and rich GUIs and a true SOA for surfacing ECM capabilities in other systems (think Oracle WebCenter) have been a part of Oracle ECM (and Stellent ECM before that) for several years (this is not a new bandwagon for us folks!). Folksonomies, presence awareness, real-time-collaboration, enterprise mashups and composit applications are happening now - as they answer the questions above.
keep an eye on it!