– some more thoughts following on from the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum.
It is easy to think that with Enterprise 2.0 it will be clear sailing for IT departments. However there remain a number of issues that if left unresolved can lead to problems.
- Clarity of purpose
- Enterprise architecture
- Operational tempo
- ROI & success metrics
- Strategic vision & alignment
It is essential that Enterprise 2.0 projects have a very clear business purpose that is jointly understood by both the business and IT folks. Without clarity of purpose decision making can become a challenge.
Without a well defined enterprise architecture and some knowledgeable people it is going to be hard to make technical trade-off decisions. Also key are technically literate people who also understand the business architecture and can assess technical decisions in that light.
Perhaps the biggest change that is starting to hit IT departments is the change in operational tempo. Previously we worked on timescales of months and years to deliver business value through technology. Now with web and Enterprise 2.0 tools we are being asked to deliver in change cycles of hours and days. This requires a completely different mindset and operational capability. It also calls for sound stage containment so as not to risk core systems to innovation.
Without demonstrable value IT departments will struggle for funding. This means getting better at designing metrics in at the start of projects and seeing that measurement is implemented. Also ROI can be difficult to define with regards to some web 2.0 type of applications – this needs to be very clear to management early on.
Unless the Enterprise 2.0 technology direction is aligned to the overall strategic vision there are real risks of unhappy outcomes. This links back to clarity of vision above, but is also about broader organisational alignment. It is likely that Enterprise 2.0 implementations will have change management implications, they may also effect job design and even organisation charts. It is important to consider these broader issues as part of an Enterprise 2.0 initiative.
I was lucky enough to participate in Ross Dawson’s Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum earlier today and had the opportunity to discuss this question with a cross section of attendees – from CIOs to industry analysts.
This is an interesting issue to consider and I’ve come up with my Top 10 Challenges for IT departments around Enterprise 2.0. This is by no means an exhaustive list – it’s just my own perspective after a fascinating day thinking about Enterprise 2.0 in the light of my own experiences.
- Authentication & security – it is critical to understand the level of security required to protect corporate assets and to understand the cost/benefit equation around this area
- Business buy-in – without business buy-in and direction it is likely that Enterprise 2.0 will face an uphill struggle for adoption and perceived value
- Corporate data – protection of corporate data is necessary, as is a clear understanding of information that requires high levels of confidentiality and information which can be opened up at various levels; processes to manage this are key
- Cost/ROI – someone somewhere will want to know this and it can be a real challenge to retrofit this if it is not built into the implementation from the start for Enterprise 2.0 – an if the ROI is non financial then it’s best everyone knows this going into the deal.
- Production systems – how can production systems be protected from harm while simultaneously opening up other systems? This tension between secure, reliable and resilient core systems and a fungible set of morphing applications needs to be managed. Virtualisation can be of real benefit in solving this problem.
- Resources – if IT budgets keep getting cut who is going to manage all the new funky Enterprise 2.0 applications? This is where enterprise architecture and an understanding of the long term total cost of ownership really comes into play.
- SaaS – software as a service is both a risk and an opportunity for IT departments. On one hand it can ease pressure on IT department budgets and resources, but on the other it can cause integration and management problems (e.g. authentication can be a problem with externally hosted systems and single sign-on).
- Shadow IT department – this is the risk that business users don’t like the systems on offer via the IT department and use their corporate credit cards to access externally hosted applications (sometimes even putting core corporate data like financials at risk).
- Skills – the question of how an IT department with limited resources can keep skills up to date simultaneously with maintaining support for legacy systems can be a real challenge. I’m not even sure it is possible in the long run.
- Support – who is going to support all the legacy applications plus all the new Enterprise 2.0 applications? What levels of support can the IT department offer to users? How will it all be funded?
At one of our recent sekrit meetingz I decided to go along on the next one. So this week we are off to Canberra to attend Microsoft’s 2nd Politics and Technology Forum on 26 Feb.
Stilgherrian will be live blogging the experience here, I will tweet, and Pong will immortalise it all visually.
We’re also looking forward to meeting up with a lot of the Canberra Twitter folks (a.k.a. CTUB).
I’ve been saying for the past year that Enterprise 2.0 is where the real action is – not freebie consumers applications. But there are significant issues and risks that need to be addressed. Here’s an old post on the topic.
Ross Dawson’s Enterprise 2.0 Forum is on tomorrow. There’s is a thought provoking agenda & a bunch of smart people both on stage and in the audience. There will also be video links to some overseas speakers like JP Rangaswami who’s doing the keynote.
And I’ll be running one of the workshops – topic is What does Enterprise 2.0 mean for the IT department?
There’s some evidence that people in our society (that is westernised countries like US, UK, Australia, etc) are not getting enough sleep. That made me wonder at the truth of idea that we need 8 hours per night.
According to a BBC report from 2007 it is a myth that we each need a full 8 hours a night. Their take on it all is that we all need as much sleep as we need. Prof Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, says regarding the 8 hour myth:
“It’s nonsense. It’s like saying everybody should have size eight shoes, or be five foot eight inches.
“There is a normal distribution – the average sleep length is seven, seven and a quarter hours.”
But sometimes I find it hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour and I asked a buddy for some tips:
“here be my sleep tips for getting to bed/sleep before midnight:
- Have a start time. To get to bed before midnight you need to start getting ready by 11. That means your real focus is on 11, not midnight. Focusing on midnight encourages you to overshoot your “deadline”. Focus on 11.
- At 11, turn off your computer(s). And TV. And anything else that goes “bing.”
- Have a routine. Clean teeth, change, cup-o-tea, whatever. It’s your “bed time” routine and should be the same each night.
- Try and have the same conditions that you fall asleep to each night. For example: soft, non-distracting music playing; dogs sleeping in room (or not); partner in bed (or not); etc.”
http://api.viostream.com/player/v5/viostream.player.jsI will be chairing the panel on “handing your brand over to the consumer – are you ready to let go”, at ad:tech Sydney on Tuesday 10 March. It’s going to be an interesting panel – each member brings a different perspective to the topic & they all have strong opinions which they are happy to share:
- Charis Palmer, Managing Editor, Online Banking Review
- Jackie Maxted, CEO, beautyheaven.com.au
- Gareth Llewellyn, Corporate Communications Manager, Oracle Australia
The panel have already had some lively discussion on the topic including issues like:
- What ‘handing your brand’ over means
- Getting the tone right – relaxed culture vs. corporate tone, and informal vs. formal messaging
- Lessons learned
- Transparency and legal & compliance issues
We recorded this pre-conference chat with Jenny Willams and me the other day, all very exciting as I’m more used to speaking to a live audience rather being on video …
PS: not saying that Jenny is not a real person though 😉
While re-reading this poem I began to consider just how much power those words have in my life – may, might, should, could, would, must. How many times have I said “blah blah should have …” or something similar?
It is words like this that are invisible forces creating pressure in my life. Instead of either doing or not doing, these words put me into a place where I live in the past or the future but not in the present.
But the real question is what will I do now? First step is to stop dwelling on the past – out go “should have”, “could have” and “would have”. The second step is to stop living in the future, so out go “may”, “might” and “must”.
Now I will do some things and not do others – that’s it. After all every moment is a chance to make a new choice, and I choose not to be like Effie.
here is little Effie’s head
here is little Effie’s head
whose brains are made of gingerbread
when judgment day comes
God will find six crumbs
stooping by the coffinlid
waiting for something to rise
as the other somethings did-
you imagine his surprise
bellowing through the general noise
Where is Effie who was dead?
-to God in a tiny voice,
i am may the first crumb said
whereupon its fellow five
crumbs chuckled as if they were alive
and number two took up the song
might i’m called and did no wrong
cried the third crumb, i am should
and this is my little sister could
with our big brother who is would
don’t punish us for we were good;
and the last crumb with some shame
whispered unto God, my name
is must and with the others i’ve
been Effie who isn’t alive
just imagine it I say
God amid a monstrous din
watch your step and follow me
stooping by Effie’s little, in
(want a match or can you see?)
which the six subjective crumbs
twitch like mutilated thumbs;
picture His peering biggest whey
coloured face on which a frown
puzzles, but I know the way-
(nervously Whose eyes approve
the blessed while His ears are crammed
with the strenuous music of
the innumerable capering damned)
-staring wildly up and down
the here we are now judgment day
cross the threshold have no dread
lift the sheet back in this way
here is little Effie’s head
whose brains are made of gingerbread
This poem is a very thought provoking piece! On the face of it seems to be about taking the road in a sense of personal freedom and independence.
But a different reading is that whichever road we take it will make a difference in our lives. Perhaps it is the actual taking of the road – not which one is chosen? And it is the personal myths we create to rationalise the choice of road that colours our experience on the road.
At the moment we face many unexpected forks in the road – on global, national and personal levels. There is a lot of negative talk and negative thinking that is influencing creation of our personal myths.
I’m not buying into that. The decision has been taken – my personal myths are going to focus on creating growth and peace however that is possible in the circumstances. My sigh, when looking back on the roads that I’ve travelled, will not be one of regret.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.