– 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.