Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can IT 1.0 Implement Enterprise 2.0?

In The state of Enterprise 2.0, Dion Hinchcliffe provides his take on a status report for Enterprise 2.0 as of Fall 2007.

His status report comes in the form of lessons gleaned thus far.

  1. Enterprise 2.0 is going to happen in your organization with you or without you.
  2. Effective Enterprise 2.0 seems to involve more than just blogs and wikis.
  3. Enterprise 2.0 is more a state of mind than a product you can purchase.
  4. Most businesses still need to educate their workers on the techniques and best practices of Enterprise 2.0 and social media.
  5. The benefits of Enterprise 2.0 can be dramatic, but only builds steadily over time.
  6. Enterprise 2.0 doesn’t seem to put older IT systems out of business.
  7. Your organization will begin to change in new ways because of Enterprise 2.0. Be ready.
So far, so good. I'm a little surprised by phrases like "seems to" in #2 and #6, but these are nits.

Much of Dion's article focuses on the state of the tools. While the lessons seem to focus on the human component, his article is primarily focused on the state of tools. This caught my attention, since I've tended to focus on the people and process aspects when considering the use of 2.0 tools in the enterprise.

So I reviewed Andrew McAfee's definition of Enterprise 2.0.
Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.
And for the discerning reader,
Platforms are digital environments in which contributions and interactions are globally visible and persistent over time.
I evidently need to pay more attention to definitions.
Note to the Schipperke: Enterprise 2.0 is specifically focused on the tools.

This is truly unfortunate.

Why, you ask?

One only needs to look to SOA for the answer.

SOA started out as an architectural style, but it has morphed into something completely different. There are several underlying forces, but the primarily reason appears to be an annexation of the term by vendors. This has resulted in a dilution of many of the potential benefits of SOA, as vendor lock-in and SOA-in-a-box makes its way into the mind-share of IT.

Enterprise 2.0, from its starting definition, appears to be predestined for the same fate.

Is it unreasonable to believe that Andrew's refinement of Enterprise 2.0 didn't go far enough?

Are we setting CIOs up by intimating that deploying Enterprise 2.0 tools will create emergent collaboration?


Mark Masterson said...

By Jove, Holmes, you've got it!! ;)

Exactly. And that's why we should strive to keep tool specifica out of ideas like "Piles O' Lmaps" and "Enterprise 2.1". Right?

Aloof Schipperke said...


Having said this, even SOA has been unable to avoid the vortex.

PoL still needs a round of abstraction. By definition, LAMP implies specifica.