Over the weekend I finally had a chance to look over a copy of the Enterprise 2.0 article. At the same time I was also re-reading The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage. A odd combination you might think, but a good way of ensuring I don't get myself caught up too much in the hype - one of the messages in Standage's book is that technologies never quite have the "utopian" impact we think they will, but they still have an impact.
Ok. Very briefly this is what I like and don't like about McAfee's Enterprise 2.0 vision:
- His framework for enterprise social software is defined as SLATES - Search, Links, Authoring, Tags, Extensions and Signals. We could probably debate his terms and definitions, but I think he has caught enough of the essence of what makes an enterprise social software architecture different.
- He identifies the critical role of managers in facilitating the adoption of social software inside the firewall but also recognises that this may also create conflict because "These tools reduce management's ability to exert unilateral control and will be used to express some level of negativity."
- Further he also concludes that there will "significant difference in companies' abilities to exploit them. Because of the opportunities the technologies bring, these difference will matter a great deal." Or in other words, its not the technology but knowing what to do with it and how to do it that counts.
On the other hand I was disappointed not to see some mention about the consumer driven innovation seen in the Internet social software space and the impact this pressure will put on organisations to change their approaches to IT. Similarly, while McAfee notes that centralised intranets hinder effective search because such intranets lack the dense links that we find on the World Wide Web, he does not link this to his point about management control that he raises later. I've discussed some of these things in the Intranet Imperative last year.
Finally - and perhaps this is a little out of scope - a mention of the issues that the ideology of self-service within organisations has also created in terms of information and knowledge sharing might have added some further context to the discussion around the challenges of getting knowledge workers to use this stuff. Why would we expect everyone to contribute in the same way as their peers? Think about The Tipping Point and the different roles of Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.
Tags: enterprise 2.0, enterprise social software, intranet imperative