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.

What does FREE mean to your company?

In this months WIRED magazine Chris Anderson answers the question ‘why $0.00 is the future of business’. His new book is going to be ‘FREE’ and will be published in 2009. This article is the introduction of the book.

In the article Chris talks about the way business is going to give away their products to customers. He outlines a big difference between free and cheap. When a product is cheap the buyer still has to make a decision to buy. When a product is free no decision is made and the buyer just starts using the product. One of the bigger models at the moment in the webbased world is the regular versus the premium product. The regular product is free to everyone and the premium product is available at a cost. Only 1% buys the premium but that is enough to make a profit for the company. The total operating costs of a company are realy low. Today in the online world storage and distribution are virtually free. The time it takes to start a product is almost nothing. You can make a new website or application is one day or two weeks. This is nothing compared to traditional software development cycles of more than 6 months. These companies do not employ hunderds of people. In the same issue of wired there is example, 37signals, who only employ 10 people and serve 1.000.000 customers!

If your company is going to give away some products, every strategy in your company has to be revised. You have to start using cheap production methods and knowledge management tools (eg. Enterprise 2.0 platforms). Make decisions about what products to give away and what products to sell at which price. Where are my people going to work, do I need an office? There are so many questions rising about this theme. I think it is going to set the trend for business the next years. At least in the webbased business, media and entertainment and other types of business who profit from free distribution and storage!

I already got a copy of ‘The Future of Management’ by Gary Hamel. I think this book and FREE are going to be complementary! The combination is going to set the standards for marketing and management in the future.

When I finished Gary Hamel’s book, I will talk about the combination some more. Do you agree? What do you think about the FREE article? I would like to read your comments.

Long live the Taxonomy

In our last post Robbert and I ended with the conclusion that:

“we realized that E2.0 and current mechanisms that are present in the digital world of working, aren’t competing, but are complementary”

Yesterday I read an AIIM post on the “SharePoint Effect“. This effect is in my opinion a perfect example of organisations not seeing this complementary nature of Digital Order and Digital Freedom. In an earlier post I made I pointed out that E2.0 and it’s mechanisms is a perfect “Add on” for the Current Information Architecture.

So, the taxonomy is alive and kicking?

Yes, but differently. With mechanisms to help you structure (or, I’d rather say, facilitate) unstructured knowledge intensive processes, Information managers, Enterprise Architects and others experts in the field, don’t have to “Engineer The World” in advance into a repository. Parts of the organisation processes are fuzzy, messy. My opinion: don’t try to make it otherwise. There’s nothing wrong with Chaos. As long as it emerges within a well established framework. The result: Control AND Collaboration

Twitter supports knowledge networking

Knowing who has the knowledge is more important then have the knowledge yourself. This businessrule we often hear in our interviews with customers. An the other hand we see that networkingplatforms are growing every day outside the companies (linkedin, xing ed.).

But how can we use both trends useful for our organisations so that we achieve a sort of knowledge network in the organisation? So that employees are knowing from each other which knowledge is available in the organisation. Who knows what?

An other trend that we observe is that people more and more working in networks. When people are working for your organisation they use their own network to get the job done, but they also enlarge their netwerk with new contacts outside of your organisation. So it seems also important to keep also the network alive when employee’s leaving the organisation? The people who leave the organisation have specific knowlegde, they also are a part of the network of the employees who are still working for you and the leaving employee has a network that is interesting for the organisation (a part of the network is build up in your organisation).

We think that twitter can help the organisation to combine the trends in a positive way for the organisation. Twitter can help to:

  • get many twitter friends and followers to get everyone involved (it is very easy to become friends)
  • read what your friends are doing and what is on their mind to get more knowledge or ideas form the twitter network
  • have an easy and fase way to get to know your coworkers and be known by the existing group
  • blur the organizational borders, twitter networks do not care about your job. So if you stop working somewhere you can still be part of the network
  • get to know new people and take a peek into their thoughts, so you can get new ideas and knowledge.

Is it hard to get above avantage? We think it is not, the implementation of the twitter-technology is a small change on your intranet. The most work will be to explain the value of the knowlegde network and the reason to twitter to your employees. But the most of them are using networkplatforms outside the company, so why would the change be big?

In the above situation, twitter is used as a social software but then applied in a business context. What are your thoughts on this subject? We would love to hear!

This post was made by @hendri_ende and @robberthomburg

@Enterprise 2.0 Summit

Last Tuesday Vincent and I attended the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Hannover, Cebit 2008. See the Flickr pictures for an impression. At frogpond.de you can read the summaries of most sessions. It was an excellent summit with a packed programme. Especially the speakers Euan Semple, Dion Hinchcliffe and Jenny Ambrozek inspired us and gave us impression into the effects and implications of E2.0.

It’s great to get inspired by visionary images and to see the best practices from the field (Sul Campo, with thanks to Diego Gianetti from BTicino for an excellent example). We at YNNO get our main energy and drive when we use this input and try to see past the Hype, the through the vision and above the tool set.

E2.0: What are the mechanisms that drive this paradigm, what organizational challenges might it have an answer for when it is mature?

Amongst other aspects, the presentation of Jenny gave us an aha-erlebnis on this part. It showed that the mechanisms of E2.0 mainly fit within the highly complex processes and positions itself between the “holes of the current tools” of organizations. Meaning: it doesn’t “do” structured processes. The tool must fit the purpose… In organizations you can see tools at use. When looking at the content in these tools you can see if the tool fits the purpose and which tool should be used. Analyzing the holes between tools you can choose where to start with offering new tools!

A crucial factor for the success of this Social Platform is that it has to become socially accepted and widely used. Reed’s law and the Network Effect where key elements discussed during the summit. Enterprise 2.0 tools being social software could benefit from the network effect. The more people use the tool the better it gets. This combined with social network analysis the adoption of new tools can be made very successful (of course this is just one factor!). Picking the right people to start and thus making the network effect work for the adoption!

In conclusion, we realized that E2.0 and current mechanisms that are present in the digital world of working, aren’t competing, but are complementary:

Organizational Network Analysis and Enterprise 2.0

Ontology’s, Taxonomies and Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise Search and Enterprise 2.0

In our next post we will tell more about our separate but synergistic fields of interest!