It’s not the technology that is the problem with adoption and implementation of enterprise 2.0, rather is the people, culture and habits we have built up in the workplace.
For years we have imposed technology on the enterprise from the top down with little dialogue and engagement with the populace who will consume that technology.
There is a huge gulf between these two worlds – enterprise applications and user developed applications. Web 2.0 has given users even more ability to develop their own localised solutions and apply them in the workplace. It is also changing the expectations of users about the kind of applications they are willing to use and how they engage with them. Enterprises are now starting to see the potential business benefits of adopting web 2.0 technology.
The trouble is that the people who implement enterprise systems are used to doing so in a particular way. That way of implementing systems is all about order, control and structure. But this is antithetical the entire web 2.0 ethos and to the expectations that have grown up in the grass roots users.
Thus the risk is that enterprise 2.0 will be pushed out merely as top down applications without effective engagement of the user community. We already know that this is a bad way to implement applications, but it is traditional. The risk is that we will make the same mistakes with enterprise 2.0 and that it makes even less sense to implement this in our traditional top down way.
It’s time to change the way we design and implement enterprise applications in general and enterprise 2.0 in particular. This is because enterprise 2.0 is about sharing, collaboration, co-creation, and engagement. Without these elements the technology underlying enterprise 2.0 will become just a bunch of unused applications.