Thursday, June 28, 2007

Enterprise 2.0 (and Web 2.0) we've been doing that for years... NOT

Viewing Andrew McAfee and Tom Davenport's debate at last week's Enterprise 2.0 conference and reading some of the comments on the blog has confirmed my views about the lack of clear thinking regarding E2.0 and W2.0. With all due respect to Tom Davenport who has been in IT since 197x, you got it wrong dude!

The notion that E2.0 is nothing new (as argued in the debate) and that the technology is all just a rehash of stuff that has been around for ages is RIDICULOUS!!! Ubiquitous access to information through the Internet, wireless and mobile technologies, platform independent applications, affordability and wide spread adoption of technology, the ability to share information publically, wide spread platform and application interoperability through XML, HTTP, Web Services, etc., are all contributors that have converged to create the unique "wired" society we live in today. And businesses are part of our social construct.

I concur that technology alone won't change large bureacracies market pressures will. But the technology enables the change. Without there would be no basis for change. The millions of users that are flocking to social networking platforms cannot be ignored.

Enterprises need to understand and embrace the social networking phenomenon rather than sitting back skeptically saying this is nothing new or an unachievable utopian vision. Harnessing the information (content) that is being created today, understanding what it means and where we are going, and being able to quickly take advantage of it will provide organisations' a strategic advantage.

Organisations that fail to embrace this new paradigm, at best will miss out on opportunities and at worst, be overtaken by agile organisations capable of evolving.

Friday, June 22, 2007

2.0: the beginning of the end of corporate computing

The 2.0 phenomenon demonstrates the speed and agility of the Internet. The volume and quality of services now freely available on the Internet is staggering. Many of these services are (or should be) competitive to corporate services. Should corporations consider Gmail vs their internal mail systems. Gmail provides a better service than the corporate e-mail systems that I've had the displeasure working with. Gmail wins out because of higher availability, more storage space, easier to find mail (search), lower maintenance, better access (available on my mobile phone - not a Blackberry), ubiquitous access (any browser, any computer), and lower costs (free) ... with all of these advantages why aren't more organisations using Gmail (or other comparable free e-mail services) for their corporate communications?

This is just one example of "information infrastructure" services that are now freely available. Calendar, data storage, information management, blogging, wikis, etc are all free. Open Source software also provides free local or network based applications like content management, CRM, ERP, office automation, operating systems, etc. Just about every kind of application or service that you can think of today is either available as a free online service or open source application.

So why aren't more organisations adopting this new paradigm? I believe that corporate IT departments are feeding the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factors to protect their turf. This is done without consideration of the real owners of businesses - the shareholders. Internal IT departments (and many large technology vendors) have a lot to lose if they embrace 2.0 principles.

Rather than resist the obvious, these organisations should be the promoters of change and evolve their roles to adapt to the new 2.0 world. Go agile, lightweight, free and open and give up the heavy weight, proprietary, slow, costly models that are already obsolete. The 2.0 movement is showing us that good technology can be delivered quickly, cheaply, with small teams and to high quality standards. The environment has changed. Nicholas Carr is basically right. It's time for IT departments, vendors and systems integrators to evolve or face extinction.