Friday, August 5, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 Research

There's not too much fundamental research on Enterprise 2.0. Deloitte recently published interesting research done on enterprise 2.0 implementations and their return-on-investment. In the EU research has also done as well. Study is being done for the European Commission and it was carried out by Tech4i2, IDC and Headshift. What was the goal of the study?
Goals of the study
  • To provide a clear definition of Enterprise 2.0 is, describe the market and the positioning of EU industry, also in comparison with US and Asia;
  • To analyze the take-up of Enterprise 2.0, the organizational requirements, and the role on the transition to a knowledge based low-carbon economy;
  • To collect evidence on its macro-economic impact, as a market opportunity for the European Software industry and as a productivity tool for European business;
  • To identify and analyse both the direct and contextual challenges, including the need for Next Generation Access and the legal barriers;
  • To analyse and propose possible policy actions to overcome the challenges and grasp the opportunities.
The first part of their study has been published (a while ago). I didn't read the whole (lengthy!) report, but read parts of it. There's lots of interesting stuff in there.
Part of the research was about defining the difference between traditional enterprise software and the new social software. The research says the "openness by default" approach is the real new part.
They also write about the size of the e2.0 market, comparing the US with the EU. The market is considerably bigger in the US. And Europe is 2/3 years behind the US market. Europe is ahead of Asia though.
In Europe, the e2.0 deployments are much slower, through pilot initiatives, compared to the US.
Privacy is a key issue when rolling out e2.0 solutions. As is lack of understanding and cultural resistance by employees and management.
Some time ago I blogged about social media and cultural. In short I said: social media deployment can change culture, culture change doesn't always have to precede social media deployment. This study gives interesting results in this context. It proves that my statement was correct. It says:
Prerequisites to a successful adoption of E20 solutions is the existence of a collaborative and collegiate culture, where innovation is rewarded. It is difficult to reap the rewards from investment if the culture is not there and there is no top management endorsement. However, there is also evidence that the adoption of E20 tools generate cultural change by encouraging  collaboration and reducing silos effect: for example, the Intellipedia case showed how wiki were able to foster a more open and collaborative approach by the US intelligence agencies  (McAfee, 2009).
The research also stressed the value of e2.0 tools in organizations is not always easy to measure. This does not imply that there's no value in using them.
To close off the insights from the report, it also underlines the importance of understanding community dynamics and network effects that guarantee the success of e2.0 initiatives. Students and employees should be trained in these aspects of modern work.

The report closes by saying "next steps" will revolve around "the definition of policy options with regard to E20, based on the findings here presented." These results have also been published (and are open to revision and discussion).
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