Sunday, June 8, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 Day 1, Second Session: Hinchcliffe on Tools and Techniques of Emergent Change

Dion Hinchcliffe's address was to "examine the latest Enterprise 2.0 tools and platforms, current and cutting edge implementation techniques, and explore successful Enterprise 2.0 case studies." He certainly was an able and appropriate speaker for such a large topic (he runs the Web 2.0 Journal, Hinchcliffe & Company and is an avid blogger , web 2.0 educator-slash-consultant, and TV show impresario.) Unfortunately the case studies and implementation received short shrift in favor of an intensive and extensive discussion of what constitutes real and successful Enterprise 2.0.

Enterprise 2.0 is different, powerful, and important, and will take 5-10 years to spread through the corporate world.

Dion wants people at the session to join Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed. If you do too, look me up! (I use KMHobbie for those sorts of apps).

State of E. 2.0

Wikis and Blogs

Two years ago at this same conference Dion asked the room how many could easily create a blog post or wiki page on their intranet. Three people raised their hands. Today more than 80% of the people did (he usually sees two-thirds). While wikis and blogs are the start of E2.0, not the end, this is quite a change.

Lines are blurring between consumer and social media. Work and home life too. People now create vastly more content than our institutions or the official media.

"Mind share" is the next step to "market share" so it's important what the buzz is. Dion used accurate charts of what people seach on Google to identify what is more popular or interesting. Searches for "Enterprise 2.0" are not rising, but searches for wikis, which first started in 2005, now surpass blogs. Searches related to phone and email are both declining. People do wikis first and blogs second. More succesful rollouts tend to do both.

Adoption and State of the Market

In terms of Rogers' adoption curve, social networks are in "early majority", consumer blogs & wikis in "late majority", Enterprise 2.0 might be in the Adoption Chasm, after early adopters

Hundreds of Enterprise 2.0 pilot projects exist. Enterprise 2.0 is far more than blogs and wikis but it is where most people usually start. Sometimes implementation is not at all official. Individuals install them and get a spiral network effect, for instance at AOL (the company). Within 60 days a personal mediawiki sitting on a single person's PC had completely eclipsed the company's Documentum document management system for the people exposed to it.

Culture matters, so Enterprise 2.0 is not taking off in Germany like it is in the U.S. and Commonwealth countries. The attitude of, break it first, ask permission later is a product of a particular culture.

Even in the U.S., small and medium businesses have been slow to adopt. They are not sophisticated consumers of IT and didn't have legacy enterprise software.

Large enterprises are buying this stuff today.

Dion showed a Forrester Research "Magic Quadrant" slide of Q3 2007. There were no firms in the "leadership" quadrant and only two (IBM and Microsoft) in the "challenger" quadrant.

For firms with between 1,000-4,999 employees, 41% are buying Web 2.0 tools in 2008, 15% of enterprises are only "considering" a purchase, and 55% are not considering

The vendor space is rapidly developing--BEA and SAP now coming along. IBM has been beating the drum, Microsoft has Sharepoint. Between 80-90% of $60-70 billion in software spending goes to these four. By 2013 should be a $4.3 billion chunk, per Forrester Research Report of April 21, 2008. Some of the smaller vendors are doing things like develop good plugins into Outlook.

Successes and Lessons Learned

Generally speaking, successful projects report better communication, improved cross-pollination and leverage of knowledge, higher productivity, and few expected problems.

Over the last few years, people have learned how to:

  • create network-based communities in the workplace
  • manage communities through seeding content, moderation, etc.
  • draft social media guidelines for workers
    manage change change management methods
  • drive adoption
  • govern Enterprise 2.0 projects
  • measure outcomes
Many successful implementations have reached a tipping point through an enterprise seeing leaders adopt the tools. (In similar fashion, my uncle Charles Hobbie used to tell of how in Korea, a country he was quite familiar with, the media makes it a point when the weather gets hot to show the Korean President outside in a formal short-sleeved shirt. While it is not a formal news item, the next day, but not before, every professional has ditched the tie and is also wearing a short-sleeved shirt).

Continued Pain Points

Relevancy of search in the enterprise is a real problem. It just doesn't work as well as on the Web, because of the absence of the link infrastructure and concomitant search algorithms. Until link structure and large percentage of workers generate links gets into enterprise systems, it will continue to be a problem.

Organizations that are not knowledge-dependent will realize less benefit. I think that means that knowledge-dependent outfits like, for instance, law firms, will realize a lot of benefit.

Dion plugged "The Cluetrain manifesto, " a set of 95 theses developed in 1999 (almost 10 years ago) e.g., Markets are getting smarter faster than most companies. It is available on-line for free, and very little in it has not aged extremely well.

What is Enterprise 2.0?

Innovation in software and networks is coming from the Internet, not from the business world. Other tools like email, database servers, etc., came from the enterprise and then made it out to consumers or the internet. Web 2.0 is a collection of documented best practices. Web 2.0 is a set of new software applications that shifts most control to the users. Gives them control over content, structure, and processes.

For instance, the first wiki was the "simplest database that could possibly work'"--a blank web page with an Edit/Save button.

Web 2.0 applications are essentially free for users because they leverage economy of scale and rely on advertising for revenue.

Social media now generate more media than traditional media. There are 60-90,000 videos on Youtube every day.

Web 2.0 Principles

All Web 2.0 winners such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook are:

  • using the web as platform;
  • treating data as the next "Intel Inside";
  • leaving behind the Software Release Cycle;
  • leveraging lightweight software and business models;
  • managing software above the level of a single device;
  • providing rich user experience;
  • innovating code assembly; and,
  • incorporating collective intelligence.

Tim O'Reilly boiled this down to, "Networked applications that explicitly leverage network effects." The networked effect occurs when a good or service has more value the more that other people have it too. For instance, once email or the telephone reached a certain tipping point in value, people "have to have it" or they are out of the conversation.

Reed's Law--if the network is social, it is much more valuable.

We've seen a sudden shift of control from institutional to individual control. Open Source software produces much more code than "normal" software companies.

Enterprise 2.0

McAfee in The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration (March 2006) coined the term Enterprise 2.0. He defined it as "emergent, freeform, social" applications for use within the enterprise.

There is a simple answer to individuals in corporations who question why they should bother with Enterprise 2.0. It leaves behind reusable knowledge. A blog will record the answer to the FAQs so people won't bother subject matter experts.

What about where people want to have people come to them to get the answers? Possible answers are:

1) knowledge belongs to the organization, it shouldn't be hoarded.
2) Sharing and collaborating will benefit the sharer because it will benefit the organization he or she is a part of.
3) Participation is a way to gain the sort of reputation as a go-to person that the curmudgeon is trying to maintain.

People find that large organizations are creating and recreating same information in a couple of different places.

"Network effects by default" should be the norm. Only lock down information following extra effort.

Benefits of Enterprise 2.0

  • Increased knowledge retention
  • More adoption and use of knowledge management tools
  • Creation of emergent structure and processes
  • Increased transparency and availability of information
  • Less duplication of effort (some companies discover they were maintaining the same information twice or three times).

What is different about Enterprise 2.0?

It is Emergent--lets right structure and details come out over time. There are low barriers for using it--the lower the barriers are, the higher the adoption.

McAfee's SLATES test is what Dion uses in assessing whether a particular approach qualifies as Enterprise 2.0. SLATES means Search, Linking, Authorship, Tagging, Extensions, Signals.

Search--discoverability and reuse of information drives retun on information

if you don't link the information you can't make sense of it.


Authorship--users generate the content

Tagging--handles volume problem--users provide their own context, provide multiple perspectives or conceptions on documents--other people share point of view--"one of most potent" in financial return study. must be on the fly. Tags stabilize around a core set.

Extensions--Lets users recommend content based on other's behaviour

Signals--centralizes the location of where you look at changing information. Signals ensure that there is pervasive access to the information.

Without tags and signals, the volume of information in a social collaboration environment quickly becomes overwhelming.

How reusable is the knowledge with search, tags, and linking? How large an audience can you reach?

Enterprise 2.0 must also be "Non-interruptive." Sharing incorporated into the workflow is much more effective.

Why Enterprise 2.0?

We are automating more and more--we have automated extraction and conversion of raw materials. Routine interactions like check generation and billing is now very well automated. Complex interactions that require decision making, collaboration, and knowledge consumption are now subject to efficiency benefits of Enterprise 2.0.

There was a lot more, including a demo of the Space.ous portal / Enterprise 2.0 platform. I will try to post on it soon.

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