UPDATE: Just want to make a quick note here and say that the conference itself was great; filled with lots of valuable information, interesting companies, and intriguing discussions. This post isn’t about the conference, it’s about the approach that companies have towards the E2.0 shift…carry on.
I’m at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco for the past 2 days and after speaking with and listening to many large organizations talk about it both publicly and privately I’ve come to believe that E 2.0 is complete BS. Let me clarify that, I believe that E 2.0 is important and that organizations are indeed changing; I just don’t think these organizations are taking it seriously; meaning they must think it’s complete nonsense. Let’s start off with explaining what exactly E 2.0 is, this screen-shot was taken from the E2.0 website and does a good job of depicting the corporate shift that is coming.
So having said all of this why is E2.0 a bunch of BS? Consider the above visual that I showed you and ask yourself what a company would need to make that shift, go ahead, take a minute…
Now consider the following. So far every enterprise company I have spoken to:
- has a minimal budget (if any) to make this shift happen
- has a team of around 2 people to make this shift happen globally for tens of thousands of employees
- has 1 enterprise manager for the company and instead of the enterprise manager focusing on strategies and process, that manager if focusing on remedial issues such as community management or docs on how to use twitter, this is important but not for an enterprise 2.0 manager
- is focusing on social software applications and solutions instead of on process, strategy, and organization
I spoke to a few large companies (that will remain nameless) in private that were brutally honest with me about how disjointed their departments are and they honestly don’t believe that their organizations are not going to make this change, how can they? I feel like the E2.0 panel I’m watching right now is so watered down that it’s almost pointless; it’s just not reality. Of course representatives from these companies aren’t going to sit on stage and admit their companies don’t know what the hell they are doing, but that’s the reality. The managers I have spoken to are smart folks but it’s very unreasonable for their bosses to expect these shifts to happen with 1-2 employees running these departments with a virtually non-existent budget. Of course I haven’t spoken to every company at the conference and I’m sure there are many folks out there that are doing it right, I just haven’t spoken with them yet to find out what they are doing.
The point is that this shift is not some easy solution that is going to happen within a few months. It’s going to take resources; aka time, money, technology, and people to make this happen. I realize that this space is still a bit new, however we need to be a bit more realistic with what needs to happen to make these changes occur. If there is legitimate business value in E2.0 then let’s act like it.
If this is how enterprise companies are going to approach this shift in their organizations then they are going to be waiting a very long time for E2.0 to happen and by that point we’ll already be on E3.0.