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Enterprise 2.0

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Businesses 47

mantex writes "The title of this book combines two coded terms — 'Web 2.0' and 'The Enterprise' — for which read 'social networking software' and 'Big Business.' And the purpose is to show how the techniques and concepts behind Web 2.0 applications (blogs, wikis, tagging, RSS, and social bookmarking) can be used to encourage collaboration efforts in what was previously thought of as secretive, competitive businesses." Read on for the rest of Roy's review.It's an argument which is fast becoming quite familiar. To succeed in modern business, managers and directors must learn to listen and talk to their customers and staff. They need to be more agile in their thinking, less monolithic in their practices, and they need to catch up to new Internet-based activities which can sweep away unwary traditionalists overnight [look what happened to Encyclopedia Britannica] and create multi-billion pound enterprises almost as quickly [Amazon, Google]. Niall Cook realises that there will be problems and resistance to such suggestions from within orthodox business communities. But he also points to their existing weaknesses. Companies spend millions of dollars installing information and knowledge management systems, yet still struggle with the most basic challenges of persuading their employees to use them. Will it be difficult to persuade large organizations to adopt these very democratic tools? He offers case studies from companies such as the BBC, IBM, Microsoft, and BUPA and others to show that it might. He even makes a case for the use of instant messaging and social presence software (MSN and Twitter).

He also has an example of the US Defence Intelligence Agency using mashups to provide simultaneous streams of information through a single interface (because that's what its users want), and a multinational software company using Facebook as an alternative to its own Intranet (because its employees use it more).

He gives a very convincing example of the creation of a wiki running alongside the company Intranet in a German bank. The IT staff started using the wiki to generate documentation, and within six months use of the Intranet was down 50%, email was down 75%, and meeting times had been cut in half.

In fact he misses the opportunity to point out that one of the biggest incentives for companies to embrace Web 2.0 software is that much of it is completely free. Almost all major programs are now available in Open Source versions — including such fundamentals as operating systems (Linux) content management systems (Joomla) and virtual learning environments (Moodle).

In the UK, government institutions have invested and wasted billions of pounds after being bamboozled by software vendors. In the education sector alone, VLEs such as Blackboard and WebCT have proved costly mistakes for many colleges and universities. They are now locked in to proprietary systems, whilst OSS programs such as Moodle run rings round them — and are free.

Is the embracing of social software solutions likely to take place any time soon? Well, Cook has some interesting answers. His argument is that these developments are already taking place. Smart companies will catch on, and obstructors will fall behind with no competitive edge.

Bear in mind that within just five years, members of the MySpace generation are going to be entering the workforce, bringing their collaborative tools with them. If you don't have the software that allows them to search, link, author, tag, mashup, and subscribe to business information in the ways they want to, they are going to do one of three things: use third party software that does; leave to join a competitor that does; not want to work for you in the first place.

Even the software solutions in this radical, indeed revolutionary development, must be fast, light, and quick to implement. Oracle's IdeaFactory took just a few days to build. Janssen-Cilag's wiki-based Intranet was purchased, customized, and launched within two weeks. This is all part of what Peter Merholz in his recent Subject to Change calls agile technology.

Cook provides strategies for those who wish to implement these ideas within their own company — and it has to be said that he assumes a certain degree of subversiveness might be necessary.

The book ends with a review of the literature on social software and a comprehensive bibliography — so anyone who wants to pursue these matters at a theoretical level has all the tools to do so. But I suspect that anybody who is taken with these new ideas — if they have any blood in their veins — will immediately want to go away and put them into practice.

This is a truly inspirational book which should be required reading for managers, IT leaders, systems analysts, developers, and business strategists in any enterprise, small, medium, and especially large. I can think of two organizations I am working with right now (one a university, the other a large city college) who ought to be implementing these ideas but who are doing just the contrary — stifling innovation. One, following its culture of 'no change' has just been swallowed up by its rival. The other is running onto the financial rocks precisely because it refuses to learn from its users and its own staff — whilst claiming to do just the opposite.

Roy Johnson files regular book reviews at MANTEX

You can purchase Enterprise 2.0 from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews — to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Focusing on Startups 2.0 (3, Informative)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062401)

In my view of the world, there are 5 key companies that completely redefine the way businesses are created using the web, aka "startup 2.0":

- http://ycombinator.com/ [ycombinator.com] : Paul Graham can take a bunch of smart college kids, feed them $15K for 3 months, bring them to Silicon Valley and watch them succeed - his success rate is amazing.

- http://fairsoftware.net/ [fairsoftware.net] (disclosure: I'm one of the founders): eliminate the need for any startup capital when you have a good idea for a software or a web site, just go ahead and create a virtual online corporation, hire friends or strangers, ship and share revenue. Never talk to a lawyer. Shopping and banking are online nowdays, why not the corporation itself?

- http://thefunded.com/ [thefunded.com] : once your business is showing potential, maybe (just maybe) you want to raise money from VCs. Thanks to TheFunded, VCs are not the ruling masters of their universe anymore.

- http://vator.tv/ [vator.tv] : once you have a cool product, it's time to pitch it to the world. You don't need to have a friend at CNN anymore. Well, actually with vator, you do :-)

- http://partnerup.com/ [parternup.com] : you need to find co-founders to start your enterprise 2.0. Traditional job boards are for 9-5 jobs at Fortune 500 companies. PartnerUp is the only one I have seen that really focuses on early stage opportunities.

I believe innovation will come from all these new startups that can now be created online, with collaborators distributed potentially all over the world, just like Open Source. That's big enough that it may create an entirely new economy within 5 years.

Re:Focusing on Startups 2.0 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062591)

Go look at CNN, China just got attacked by nukes!

Re:Focusing on Startups 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063105)

I've never heard of any of those companies. This topic is so boring it's giving me Spasmodic Dysphonia. I wish Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) would join this topic to write something witty and relieve the boredom.

Re:Focusing on Startups 2.0 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063123)

In my view of the world, there are 5 key companies that completely redefine the way businesses are created using the web, aka "startup 2.0":

...

I believe innovation will come from all these new startups that can now be created online, with collaborators distributed potentially all over the world, just like Open Source. That's big enough that it may create an entirely new economy within 5 years.

I think I've heard this sort of talk before. What was it called again? Oh yes, Web 1.0, or "the Web" as we old-timers called it.

"But this time it's different". I've heard that before too.

Re:Focusing on Startups 2.0 (1)

shashark (836922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073089)

*Citation needed.

PS: Moderators, mod this down. Except for paul graham, the other links appear to be cheap imitators.

Sounds Like another Star Trek Spinoff (4, Funny)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062457)

The title sounds like another spinoff of the Star Trek TV series. Like we need another one of those....

Re:Sounds Like another Star Trek Spinoff (1)

tsnorquist (1058924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062825)

Speak for yourself. I'll watch T'pal while you delve into the book...

Re:Sounds Like another Star Trek Spinoff (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26063175)

Didn't Andrew Probert design the Enterprise 2.0?

Re:Sounds Like another Star Trek Spinoff (1)

dsmall (933970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070597)

Damn, here I thought that with Star Trek only, what, 5 months away that this would be Yet Another Article on it.

So Annoying.

*grin*

David

It was only cancelled a few seasons ago (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062491)

I realize the Star Trek remake is getting a lot of buzz, but I'm not sure we need a remake of this TV series.

Web 2.0 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062505)

wouldn't sound nearly as annoying or pretentious if it involved anything that hadn't been around for over 10 years.

Re:Web 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062673)

wouldn't sound nearly as annoying or pretentious if it involved anything that hadn't been around for over 10 years.

I don't know about that. It would still be pretty goddamned annoying and pretentious. You can just picture some smarmy guy parroting buzzwords who changes the subject when you respond in a way that assumes he knows what the terms mean.

But I agree. It's TCP port 80. You can use it along with this HTTP protocol to transfer data from a server to a client. Some of that data might include an interpreted programming language, such as Javascript, that the client can execute. Enough people use this and frameworks built on it, like AJAX, and suddenly this is Web 2.0? Seems like a series of improvements to me, not some revolutionary new version of the Web.

It reminds me of that Outkast lyric, "she's a damsel in distress, impressed by stylish things". I always took that to mean that "she's a damsel in distress" precisely BECAUSE she's impressed by stylish things.

blagovich/palin ticket? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062563)

if he'd get his hair fixed, & she'd stop talking in fargoese, they could become the next corepirate nazi puppets/idols of some.

Re:blagovich/palin ticket? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062839)

Blagovich got nailed because he wanted to stop doing business with Bank of America. The day after he made an announcement to the press about that he gets nailed with corruption. They admit they have been watching him for years. Do you really think that was the first case of corruption they had on him? We're talking about the Chicago political machine, mind you.

I'm not saying this guy isn't scum.

Its the same thing with Elliot Spitzer. He spoke out against Bush, wall street and bad lending pracitces in a NYT op-ed piece and he gets busted shortly afterwards.

It's called a control file (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063139)

Blagovich got nailed because he wanted to stop doing business with Bank of America. The day after he made an announcement to the press about that he gets nailed with corruption. They admit they have been watching him for years. Do you really think that was the first case of corruption they had on him? We're talking about the Chicago political machine, mind you.

I'm not saying this guy isn't scum.

Its the same thing with Elliot Spitzer. He spoke out against Bush, wall street and bad lending pracitces in a NYT op-ed piece and he gets busted shortly afterwards.

Every elected official who holds high office or has a chance at holding high office, as well as some of the CEOs and other top management of the larger corporations, has a "control file". A control file is a list of skeletons in your closet, either previous or ongoing, that can be used against you if you should do anything that goes against the interests of the people who got you into office in the first place.

Don't confuse this with the routine Bill Clinton-style "sex scandal" that never actually removes anyone from power; those are media distractions (if you recall, he was fighting a rather asymmetrical and cruise missle-intensive "war" at the time). The real deal usually takes the form that you have outlined above.

It's a shame that the average person really has no clue just how utterly corrupt our political and economic systems truly are ("corrupt" does not even begin to describe it). Imagine something like Tammany Hall on a national scale, then imagine that this also applies to the economic system. Not just the corporations and the CEOs that have large concentrated amounts of wealth, but the very Federal Reserve monetary system itself and the similar central banking systems that most industrialized nations also have. Most people have the sense that something is amiss but they have no idea just how accurate that sense really is.

Cluetrain anybody? (3, Insightful)

xbytor (215790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062627)

It's not like this is a new idea...

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062947)

It's not like this is a new idea...

Web 2.0 is useful for one thing. It's an easy way to tell the buzzword merchants from the IT professionals.

Of course it's sad to see people fooled into believing there is any substance to it.

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (1)

gormanw (1321203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26064297)

I agree about the buzzword merchant part, but disagree about Web 2.0 not having any substance. I think Web 2.0 is a business adaptation to how a generation is developing culturally. Specifically, if you 25 and younger, the internet has been something you have always used. You are used to the speed and volume of data. Additionally, the collaborative aspects of the internet and supporting technologies are expected. Web 2.0, Facebook, Slashdot, and YouTube represent the attempt to monetize social expectations. Further to that point, business is mimicking this generation's requirements for community, collaboration, speed, and matrix teaming. As other generations become more adapt at using the Web 2.0 technologies, they are adapting insight into how this new generation thinks and what their expectations are. I read an entire series on the Web 2.0 manager and found it quite interesting, found here. [blogspot.com]

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26064697)

Web 2.0 is useful for one thing. It's an easy way to tell the buzzword merchants from the IT professionals.

I see.

So you are saying that real IT professionals just sit there and stare at C level decision makers when they are asked about how the latest buzzword is going to change the field?

There is a reason that these buzzwords exist.

Think of it as an additional layer of abstraction for C level decision makers. The nicest part is that most of the buzz concepts are vague enough that a talented IT professional can actually make them mean whatever they want.

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071563)

So you are saying that real IT professionals just sit there and stare at C level decision makers when they are asked about how the latest buzzword is going to change the field?

No. When asked, the "real IT professional" explains that "Web 2.0" is nothing but hype and buzzwords based on technology that's been around for over a decade. A "buzzword merchant", as the parent post called it, will explain how "Web 2.0" is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

There is a reason that these buzzwords exist.

Yep. Buzzwords (in general) exist so that people can sell over-hyped bullshit to idiots. Which is exactly what you're advocating.

Think of it as an additional layer of abstraction for C level decision makers. The nicest part is that most of the buzz concepts are vague enough that a talented IT professional can actually make them mean whatever they want.

Yeah... it could be just about anything. Which is why it's bullshit.

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073229)

Web 2.0 isn't about technology, it is about people.

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26081517)

It's made of people! PEOPLE!

Re:Cluetrain anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069555)

Substance is a relative term. To a developer or true techie, Web 2.0 is a silly term and lacks clear definition.
However to an IS director or CIO wanting to communicate new technology to their business, it allows for an attention grabbing term that can be applied to the various popular web sites and web applications without using technical terms that cause their eyes to glaze. This in turn drives requirements which drives development which allows developers to work on the latest coolest technology.
Following this train of thought makes your statement a little ironic. Perhaps this book is for you.

Enterprise 2.0... (-1, Redundant)

1s44c (552956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062829)

...Now with warp 7 engines, upgraded phasers, and 2 extra aft torpedo tubes.

Re: Enterprise 2.0... (-1, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26062951)

"Hi, My name is Jeffrey, I invented a tube."

Re: Enterprise 2.0... (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26063031)

"Hi, My name is Jeffrey, I invented a tube."

Lol...
You owe me a new coffee.

Re: Enterprise 2.0... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063543)

That's Jeffries [imdb.com] , of whom the series of Enterprise tubes are named after.

Re: Enterprise 2.0... (1)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26064469)

Jeffrey would have given his life to have those tubes named after him.

It's been a long time gettin' from there to here (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062833)

Oh, it's been a long time, but our time is fin'ly near!

Sorry (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26062885)

Web 2.0 doesn't exist. It is nothing more than a bullshit buzzword with no real meaning, so by default this book is total rubbish.

Carry on.

Re:Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063289)

Web 2.0 doesn't exist. It is nothing more than a bullshit buzzword with no real meaning, so by default this book is total rubbish.

Carry on.

Totally right. It's sickening to see and hear this web 2.0 bullcrap everywhere.

Re:Sorry (1)

voltheir (1087207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26063589)

You've never worked in an Enterprise, have you? This type of meaningless bullshit is the modus operandi.

Re:Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26066039)

Yeah, myself I'm waiting for Web 3.11 for Workgroups.

Re:Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067135)

I heard Web 3.51 is going to come with a posix subsystem.

What's better than Anything 2.0? (1)

ikirudennis (1138621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26063163)

Everything 2.0!
Seriously, when are we gonna move on with life and get off the 2.0 bandwagon?

And no, I don't mean upgrading to 3.0

But Seriously... (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26063435)

When you get past the buzzwords, there's an important message here: be open to new ideas and listen to employees.

Saying "web 2.0 doesn't exist" is just as pretentious as writing a book about it. I think most people here like the idea of an open workspace where ideas are shared and appreciated. If the term of the day for that type of work environment is "web 2.0", so be it. Use the hype to convince the powers to be that it's a good idea to shift to a more open work space.

Disclaimer: "web 2.0" seriously pisses me off. I'm just saying there's an instrumental value to the hype, if not the technology itself.

What did happen to Encyclopedia Britannica? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26063617)

Did its revenues fail? Did the company go bust? I'm confused.

MySpace?! (2, Funny)

mechsoph (716782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26064229)

Bear in mind that within just five years, members of the MySpace generation are going to be entering the workforce, bringing their collaborative tools with them.

God help us all.

Re:MySpace?! (1)

Lando Calrissian (1428779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067757)

I recommend that we move these people to Cloud City. I have access to a Corillian freighter that can make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26064803)

Call me back when they get to version 1701.

As in the J.J. Abrams movie? (1)

Lalo Martins (2050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26065185)

This review showed up on my Reader right after one about the J.J. Abrams movie, so I assumed it was about the starship. So I clicked it and read the summary. "Oh. It's something a lot less realistic." Ah well.

Maybe in a decade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26065863)

Company policies and direction setting is done by managers and executives, not employees hired fresh out of college.

In 10 years or so, some of the MySpace generation will get their promotions and start influencing corporate directions.

Most college kids in the US aren't too picky about their first job, especially in IT where companies are looking for somebody with experience first and a degree second. And lately in the US you're pretty lucky to have a job at all right now.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068021)

Web 2.0 is a moniker for the new programming paradigms that allow web pages to: 1) Asynchronously load (AJAX) and 2) Act as application interfaces rather than static content.
The 2.0 refers to the breakaway from the original intent of markup language. It has nothing to do with social networking per se.

web 2.0 = Social Networking??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069559)

And here I thought it meant dynamic code like Javascript running on the end-user's browser using techniques like AJAX to update a page without refreshing it (i.e. gmail, etc.).

If it just meant oscial apps, well they have been around before the Web itself, so why would they have to be 2.0 ? (online chat anyone?)

Set course to the nearest buzzword... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072379)

Engage!

"MySpace" instead of "Facebook" shows cluelessness (1)

ActusReus (1162583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073381)

Bear in mind that within just five years, members of the MySpace generation are going to be entering the workforce, bringing their collaborative tools with them.

Umm... just because a young guy enjoys blabbing to quasi-strangers about how trashed he was last night, and/or how totally "hawt" your new profile photo is, doesn't mean they're chomping at the bit to crank out documentation for you. Social networking sites are something people do for fun to AVOID work. Putting documentation on the Wiki is very much "work", and is not fun in the slightest. Most of the time, in-house wiki's are just a matter of managers being too lazy to come up with a real knowledge management strategy.

Whenever a manager tells me to "throw something on the Wiki", I groan. I know it will be a chore to write, that no one will actually read it (they'll just email or call my cell in the middle of the night as always), and the information will be out of date within a month because it's never updated. Corporate wiki's are not the same as Wikipedia. On Wikipedia, articles about obscure butterfly species are constantly updated because people WANT to do it. For corporate wiki's, they are seldom updated because people HAVE to do it. New tools do not change old realities about human nature and motivation.

I'm also not so sure about the notion of social networking tools for business DISCUSION. Sure, if you work in one of those environments where email threads get CC:'ed to half the company, you might think it would be cleaner just to throw that on a message board or something. The problem is that people pay less attention to every thread on a message board then they do to every email that is sent to their Inbox (and the latter doesn't always get any attention already). So I think you'd still need some system for "flagging" messages and sending "No, really... you REALLY need to read this one!" alerts to individuals.

As you move up the scale from routine communication to planning and business decisions (i.e. brainstorming), you run into even more issues. For one thing, brainstorming sessions need to be isolated to a limited audience... which often doesn't correspond to the normal hierarchy. Obviously managers don't want subordinates reading their discussions, because they're often about layoffs and otherwise making their jobs worse. However, those managers don't want PEERS from other groups/teams reading discussions, because they often involve turf-war issues. Those managers would even need to protect discussions from SUPERIORS, because the point of many meetings is to figure out how to sell an idea up the chain (or do damage control for something bad)... and you don't want that visible before it's fully-baked.

For business communication above the routine low-level stuff, most people wouldn't be comfortable an open to putting their thoughts in writing. Also, there's the issue that most decisions in a business meeting are already made PRIOR to the meeting... I don't think social networking tools would replace people doing end-runs and going behind backs to build consensus.

So in a nutshell: "MySpace generation" workers are not going to make your stale in-house Wiki any fresher, and discussion tools could only potentially be helpful for low-level routine operational communication.

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