Sunday, March 14, 2010

Explaining Enterprise 2.0 in one minute

If all I have is one minute to explain to someone what Enterprise 2.0 is about, this is what I would say.
“Enterprise 2.0 is all about using technology to bring brains together effectively.”
Andrew McAfee, Associate Professor Harvard Business School
The Internet and the web in particular has enabled a shift in how people communicate with each other, enabling rich and frequent two-way communication with unpreceded reach, immediacy, usability, and accessibility. In short, the costs of communication have collapsed.

Many businesses are today facing increasing competition and a rapidly changing business environment, to a large extent due to the impact of the Internet. Operational efficiency will still be important, but it won’t be enough to create competitive advantage. Instead, businesses will increasingly depend in their ability to quickly adapt to a changing environment, to innovate more and at greater speed, and to collaborate with virtually anyone across organizational, geographical and cultural borders.

Enterprise 2.0 is a term for business practices and technologies originating from the social web - such as blogs, wikis, feeds and social networking - which can be used to improve communication, findability and discovery of information, knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation within an enterprise. Successful implementation of Web 2.0 and social technologies in an enterprise context starts with an understanding of the values, principles, culture and human behaviors that make communication, sharing and collaboration happen in a natural way across barriers such as organization, time, culture, and location. Openness, transparency, trust, dialog, recognition and participation are key principles of Enterprise 2.0.


  1. What if enterpises could inventory internal and external "knowledge assets" into a knowledge inventory? Then the definition of Enterprise 2.0 could change and accelerate discovery, innovation and use of the right knowledge real time.

    What say you?

  2. Jay, this is the kind of thinking that should enable moving us from backward looking accounting and financials to forward looking capacity and need/opportunity for development and capacity building.

    In my own practice, I note the convergence between intellectual capital (intangibles that shape value), knowledge and records management (to balance accountability, authentic knowing and learning).

    A barrier, IMO, is the sheer weight of obsolete thinking still being turned out by universities and encouraged within organizations.

  3. Thanks for leaving the comment. Couldn't agree more.

    I am working on a model to help move the ball forward. Yes the barriers are there then again one guy with twelve disciples changed the world and we can do the same :)

  4. That's right E20 is just blogs, wikis, rss and social networking and that's it. When will you guys include search in this mix - Delicious, Jumper2.0, whonu. Don't get behind the curve.

  5. Hi Will, I just provided some examples (the most common = the ones people would recognize) in the post. I could add social bookmarking, podcasting, social search, micro-blogging, and so on. But I wouldn't mention specific apps such as Delicious unless absolutely necessary, I prefer to talk about the type of tools or technology so I don't get into discussions such as "So you mean we should have Facebook at work?"