Is Enterprise 2.0 a Crock? |

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Is Enterprise 2.0 a Crock?


Posted by on November 4, 2009

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.

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 04 09.21

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.

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  • http://www.itsinsider.com itsinsider

    There are a lot of firms who would not even bother coming to a conference on this. Don't assume it's not happening, however. The criticism in the market is only accelerating the business case and generating better rationale for a larger spend. For a list of companies who are committed to a 2.0 initiative, see this list: http://itsinsider.com/2009/11/05/checkmate/

  • nenshad

    Hi Jacob,

    I made a very serious attempt to bridge the perspectives in my blog post entitled “Is Enterprise 2.0 a Savior or a Charlatan? How Strategy-Driven Execution can pave the path to proving legitimate business performance” located here: http://bit.ly/3n325o

    I would certainly welcome your feedback and look forward to a continued dialogue around the topic.

    Best Regards,

    Nenshad

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com Jacob Morgan

      Thanks for sharing that, I’ll take a look. I’m looking forward to covering this topic a lot more in the near future.

  • stevechristensen

    One essential element that I think is missing from Enterprise 2.0 is the fact that it shouldn't replace Enterprise 1.0. Enterprise 1.0 made that mistake when the evolved out of Enterprise 0.1 systems (custom applications – often homegrown – built to automate the processes of the business). I see two essential rules: 1) Do no harm – to existing business or business sytems. 2) Increase revenue and/or margin or don't do it. E2.0 is comprised of segments: Communication – Operation – Customer. So far the dialogue has been predominantly in Communication (social networking tools attempting to find roots in the Enterprise). While the Communication segment of E2.0 is a critical leg on the three-legged stool, it is only one. Business chaffs at investing in social applications because it seems too much like what their kids are doing all hours of the day and it doesn't deliver any tangible business results. E2.0 does deliver value. The conversation just hasn't gotten around to that yet.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Yep that's a great point. I run into a similar conversation with folks when they say that social media should replace traditional media and that traditional media is dead. Of course, this is not the case. Social and traditional need to work together and e1.0 and 2.0 also need to work together to achieve the same business outcomes.

      thanks for the comment!

  • stevechristensen

    One essential element that I think is missing from Enterprise 2.0 is the fact that it shouldn't replace Enterprise 1.0. Enterprise 1.0 made that mistake when the evolved out of Enterprise 0.1 systems (custom applications – often homegrown – built to automate the processes of the business). I see two essential rules: 1) Do no harm – to existing business or business sytems. 2) Increase revenue and/or margin or don't do it. E2.0 is comprised of segments: Communication – Operation – Customer. So far the dialogue has been predominantly in Communication (social networking tools attempting to find roots in the Enterprise). While the Communication segment of E2.0 is a critical leg on the three-legged stool, it is only one. Business chaffs at investing in social applications because it seems too much like what their kids are doing all hours of the day and it doesn't deliver any tangible business results. E2.0 does deliver value. The conversation just hasn't gotten around to that yet.

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    Yep that's a great point. I run into a similar conversation with folks when they say that social media should replace traditional media and that traditional media is dead. Of course, this is not the case. Social and traditional need to work together and e1.0 and 2.0 also need to work together to achieve the same business outcomes.

    thanks for the comment!

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