A increasingly amount of words, and now money, is being expended on Enterprise 2.0 (E2) E2 is an extension of some of the ideas from Web 2.0 (W2)--- the concept of a network of connected people making a self sustaining community that generates ideas, information and value. In addition the ever present threat of Gen Y and Gen C employees unable to contribute to the business except in a connected web of goodness that provides inclusion, exploits the power of the group, ... and all the other nice warm fuzzy words However at the end of the day organisations need to survive by fulfilling customers needs and wants effectively. It's often hard to see how the totally immersive nature of the W2 experience translates into value for E2. Let's look on the positive side first:
  1. An E2 enabled organisation may be able to attract and retain better quality individuals in the gen Y workforce
  2. E2 may provide better mechanisms for a team generating new ideas and hence business improvement
  3. Team work may become faster and more effective because of improved communication
However reality could be a little different:
  1. All that high quality talent spends all day communicating in a E2 connected world they actually don't get much work done. Capable people are only as valuable as their deliverables and at some point rubber has to hit the road, so can they please stop twittering and do some work?
  2. Everyone, both as individuals and as a team, can spend so much time navel gazing that no improvement of any value can be implemented.
  3. Communication paralysis can stop decisions being made. Everyone is so busy communicating it becomes unclear what needs to be done and no one is able to cut through the chaff. It's a great way of avoiding responsibility.
  4. In certain organisations the tools of W2 may present a significant security risk.
So what is the bottom line on E2? I suspect it's probably just a big waste of time... Remember that business value comes from three things:
  1. Doing it better and faster
  2. Managing the business more effectively
  3. Saving costs
If you cannot see E2 helping your organisation directly with those basic things then why bother?