Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock?

27 August 2009

Dennis Howlett thinks so (although he doesn’t say whether his hypothetical crock is full of gold or some other raw material).

I started writing a brief, witty response to his ZDNet post whacking anyone who dare use the term Enterprise 2.0 over the head with his stick of experience (and a touch of hindsight, which as we all know is a wonderful thing). Then I realised it would have to be a more reasoned and tempered response. After posting, I guessed that like most comments on blogs owned by big media it would be unlikely to be seen by many so here it is for your delectation. I’d be interested to know if you agree.

Yes, Enterprise 2.0 is a label. So was Groupware. Remember that? New things will always be given labels by the people trying to educate the market. Get over it.

So is Enterprise 2.0 trying to solve a problem? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it a thing you can go and buy? No. Because it’s just a label. Is it going to change the world? No. Because… you get the idea.

But the tech that sits under this label isn’t just about creating community, as this article seems to be implying. There ARE real business problems that this tech can HELP solve (but like any tech, not solve in itself).

Things like streamlining internal communication in businesses when information overload is the norm – in order to ensure employees are informed, engaged and motivated.

Things like getting sales people to share best practice from the field with the product and marketing people – in order to keep the product line relevant.

Things like improving collaboration amongst people who have never spoken to each other before, or work in different countries, cultures and time zones – in order to secure that vital piece of business.

Things like connecting people with each other and information (answering questions like “do we work with this prospect anywhere else in the world?” that no other piece of tech I have seen can do quite as well), and between information – in order to ensure that the company knows what it knows, what it knows it doesn’t know, and what it doesn’t know it knows.

Should tech vendors in the space start focusing on how their products solve some of these real business problems and stop evangelising Enterprise 2.0 as if it is some kind of panacea to cure all ills? Absolutely.

Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock? No. Because it’s just a label.

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6 Responses to “Is Enterprise 2.0 a crock?”

  1. Wibisono Sastrodiwiryo

    i read his post

    his main question is:

    “In the meantime, can someone explain to me the problem Enterprise 2.0 is trying to solve?”

    from this “question” i can see that he has a wrong perception about E.20

    he sees E2.0 as a tool instead of a concept

    just like people who sees SOA as a technology, when SOA not delivered what people expected then they start to saying SOA is dead, then many other new terms arise with the same old underlying concept: services

  2. Esteban Kolsky

    I know what you mean. I would say that your post was great, but that is just a label.

    Instead I am going to say that I bookmarked it to send to the next E20 vendor that comes my way asking me to evangelize their solution as the way to E20.

    Well done, concise, and with examples – what else you need?

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  6. sam

    I agree with your definition as Enterprise is just a label… Because in my opinion Enterprise 2.0 is knowledged based technology which
    allows group of people to interact with one another which happens in any organisations for the employees/staff to have some sorts of interaction
    as what you mentioned in this blog post… And Enterprise 2.0 will solve the business problem and it will make the staff-customer relationship bonded t
    together as one community… I also agree with you that i will not change the world but it changes the business model in a better way.. If we say it can change
    the world..I will say YES if all the organisations make used Enterprise 2.0 and when it becomes prominent in term of its used in business prospectives…
    So I guess other words for Enterprise 2.0 is collaboration, participation, involvement and connection…
    For more issues regarding Enterprise 2.0. Read more from my blog and leave some comments.. Your idea looks really great to
    me… Thanx

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