Internet communications behind the firewall is a big thing for us at iStudio, where we consult, create, maintain and manage many intranets for our clients.
Because of this, I was really geed up to see (fellow Brit) Niall Cook speak about Enterprise 2.0 (his new book and the buzzword du jour) at Third Tuesday Toronto. However, I was struck down by a particularly nasty cold/flu/virus/biological weapon and was unable to go.
Thankfully, not everyone in Toronto was hit by the same weopanized virus and actually managed to make it out.
Here’s what they saw.
The book’s other aims are to help companies isolate social media tactics they might want to use. Cook says, for example, that more formal companies might benefit from wikis to create online collaboration. More casual companies could improve communication via blogs and instant messaging. “The point is, it’s different for everyone, and companies need to make an informed choice on the tactics they choose.”
Hear, hear. Fit the tactics (and technology) into the strategy, not the other way around.
If you want to actually hear Niall’s words of wisdom, check out the interview he did with former Third Tuesday Toronto speaker, Shel Holtz, on For Immediate Release.
My old boss and friend David Jones also has some audio and slides from Niall’s talk for H&K clients.
Enterprise 2.0 is essentially the effect of Web 2.0 moving inside the organization. Shift of power from employer to employee
Digital natives will be looking to use tools like Facebook and will avoid employers where it is blocked.
Tools are being used for
1. Internal communication – between employees, biz units, offices
2. Web 2.0 type collaboration
3. Traditional, formal collaboration
4. Connection between people. Traditional employers see this as wasting time
Forums are considered a 2.0 channel – people discussing in informal way. E.g. Forums inside BBC were launched through stealth; and then impressively went viral.
A lot of these technologies have been launched internally under the radar.
Oracle: grassroots inside organization- set up a Digg clone for inside – allowed sales to feed ideas to product development and for people to vote. Subsequently launched outside Oracle as Oracle Mix
Adoption inside large organizations is a lot of work. Barriers generally start with IT in the form of security and governance, specifically Sarbanes-Oxley
It’s going to happen anyway. People will find ways to by-pass IT; IT needs to get out of the way, let it happen, get involved by helping and by putting frameworks around it. If a wiki takes 12 months to set up, people will build a shadow network on the web. IT becomes another [commoditized] vendor.
Is there a digital divide based on age? Not about age at all; there is an understanding divide. If you provide something of value that is easy to use, it doesn’t really matter the format or the divide.
To help adoption along, find the senior guy using RSS and get him to help you. Perform a pincer movement by working from the bottom up.
Can get rid of our intranet? These tools have different roles. Still going to need intranet for publishing & storing policies/procedures.
Q&A: which kinds of tools are going to fly depends on the culture. You want something that is least effort but highest impact.
Inside H&K: people tend to organize around their clients, and then around their groups. Put the tools and structure in place to get them out of this and break down silos. Niall using Confluence (enterprise wiki software), blog outside but not inside, have a delicious clone for clipping service.
20% may really get into it, and yet others see it as failing. Reflects life [and external communities] – some are more engaged than others.
Fear of failure is real. How do you engender a culture of experimentation? P&G puts 10% towards experiments. Need this for innovation.
RSS & syndication is the least used. Build readers alongside [or within] other technologies to help build discoverability
Education needed about how to use the different channels for communication. A little self-policing–people will point out incorrect use.
How do you get an org’n to un-ban Facebook? He thinks some organizations have real reasons to ban e.g. Call centres. But organizations need to look at their reasons for banning in the first place.
In terms of whether a more collaborative enterprise environment, Chrissie ended with Niall’s ending statement. Which, in a moment of symmetry, I will also end with:
“Companies don’t really have a choice anymore,” Cook says. “It’s just sensible for them to start to understand social media a little more.”