Friday, March 28, 2008

Defining Enterprise 2.0

I just want to take a moment to look at the definition of Enterprise 2.0. At the moment I am reading the AIIM report on Enterprise 2.0 and the first section is about defining Enterprise 2.0. The definition they come up with is:

A system of Web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence, and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise

The definition is the product of the surveyresults and the discussion with the advisory panel. The survey gave people a choice to select the best definition out of a range. In that range no single definition got a clear lead over the other. One of the choices was the definition Andrew McAfee gave in his article in SMR, whitch only got 12& of the votes. The two top definitions do not really give an idea about what Enterprise 2.0 is. The top definition was
the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise
This definition only focusses on technology and leaves the big question what Web 2.0 is! The number two definition is
The next generation of Enterprise Content Management
This is not true since ECM will be a part of the whole platform and has a great and sustainable function in the architecture of enterprise IT.

The discussion about the definition was very nice to read and really ads to the understanding about why this definition came up. This way you get the sense you actually listen to those guys talking and brainstorming.

I think it is a pity the term social (or something like that) did not make it to the definition. I guess it is hidden in the collaboration, emergence and integration capabilities. Another thing about the definition is the focus on technology. The report also stresses that culture is a factor in E2.0. Maybee it is still true that E2.0 is a technology that is part of a larger movement. This movement could be a digital workstyle that is being adopted be a larger growing number of people.

In this lifestyle people are always connected and the difference between work and life is blurring. Being part of social networks is very important and collaboration is king. Syndication of communication channels is imperative to get the grip on all the relevant content. Leadership and management are transparant, democratic and about cultivating and coordinating.

In short the Enteprise 2.0 defintion at the moment is great and I think it has to be part of a larger digital workstyle. Technology is just one part of the puzzle and there are many parts of the puzzle.


Jeroen said...

Couldn't agree more, Robbert. Technology is just one piece of the puzzle! The same goes for gaming: it's the underlying principles that are the most interesting, not the pretty pictures on the screen. That is still something people find difficult to understand.

James Dellow said...

Saw your comments on Dan Keldsen's blog and thought you might be interested in my feedback on the report here
There don't appear to be that many people discussing this report yet online, so I'd be interested to hear any other comments you have.

Israel said...

here is an E2.0 definition I just came across and liked because of its emphasis on culture and communication:

"Enterprise 2.0: Encouraging Conversation and Collaboration behind the Firewall

By now, the corporate Intranet and its control-heavy, alienating mode of communicating should well and truly be dead. Wikis and social network are revolutionising communication and collaboration in the enterprise, breaking down internal walls, organisational structures and geographical barriers."

what do you think about it?

Robbert said...

@james Hi thanks for the comment I am not ready digesting the report ;-) I agree about the definition part and I think the definition will change during time. I liked the notion in the report that strategic, companywide implementation yields more advandages!

@israel I thing the part about the firewall is not a good thing in a E20 definition. The conversation has to be on a bigger level than just inside the firewall. The extended enteprise part in the AIIM report is better I think!

Dan Keldsen said...

Robbert - Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our Market IQ on Enterprise 2.0. Good to extend the conversation - and I'm quite sure the Enterprise 2.0 story will be re-written many times.

There is no perfect definition, and as I responded back on my blog:
"I agree that in many cases the "sociality" is a key component to the usefulness of Enterprise 2.0 - but there are plenty of use cases where the "social" component is muted or not even a factor."

As you saw in the Market IQ itself, Stowe Boyd for example is extremely focused on the "social" aspects of all things 2.0, while the rest of our advisors, as well as Carl and I, honed in on collaboration as ONE capability that would encompass the social angle.

Could be that we were wrong on that one - but haven't heard much feedback (yet) on that account.

Was our definition helping to refine Enterprise 2.0, or is Andrew's sufficient?

Robbert said...

Hi Dan thanks for stopping over. I guess you are right to say there is no perfect definition of E2.0 and I think we will discuss this for some time. The sociality thing is one of the factors in E2.0 but there are many more.

There is no saying wich definition is better but it is good to see that the definition is a point of discussion. In the report one of the conclusions is that better understanding of E2.0 will be a driver for adoption. This discussion is helping us get a better understanding!