The Fear of Enterprise 2.0 – Stop The Conversation!


I am scanning Twitter for news and I run across this study from earlier this month about the challenges facing Enterprise 2.0.

You see it over and over again.  Resistence to change is always the big one on the list, followed by security fears and my favorite: questions about the return on investment.

This is the question that I love. Is their trump card to justify their resistance. Nope. Sorry, you can’t quantify the return. Done. Time for that enterprise upgrade of the legacy software. It could take one-third of our IT Department’s time but we know that process so well. Software with a social component? Maybe next year.

I guess you can say that it’s changing. To actually get work done people are turning to social tools. Of course, that’s a problem, too, especially if you are a chief security officer.

The fear? You can’t control the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.  The applications are not suited for regulatory compliance.

Here’s what one blogger from an enterprise software company has to say:

Social media tools as we know them today do not provide an audit trail of information exchange with an easy way to access it. If you are ever the subject of an eDiscovery audit from a lawsuit, you may need to produce reports on hundreds or thousands of document transactions and other information exchanges from social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

That may very well be true. And there will have to be a better fit between Enterprise 2.0 and entrenched software like SharePoint. But can the fear of a lawsuit kill a business?  Here’s a a test. How do sales happen? How do teams communicate? What makes customer service work for the customer?

Sales people get to know customers. They talk with them.  The conversation turns into a relationship that includes a purchase.

Marketing teams brainstorm. They develop ideas through convesations.  Great customer service comes from structured conversations, designed to efficiently solve problems.

The enterprise 2.0 tools are just the next evolution of business conversation. Without those tools, companies are just making it more diffiuclt for their employees to make things happen. It’s like telling the sales team not to participate in conversations with  clients. Try that strategy and watch how fast those clients go away.


One Response to The Fear of Enterprise 2.0 – Stop The Conversation!

  1. Hawk
    Rob June 23, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    ROI is the most nebulous factor in the search for a reason for corporate wags to jump into the blogging fray because they fear the unknown. Business, western style, has always resisted any trend from the status quo because it threatens the way corporations define budgets and requires them to actually listen to the markets they attempt to control. They do get the fact now that they can no longer ignore it, but, they have yet to figure out how to adapt. In a Darwinian sense, extinction is the great motivator.

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