There's a massive disconnect between Enterprise 2.0 technologies and traditional enterprise applications and infrastructures. That's bad news for both, not to mention the enterprise over all. At least, that's the finding of a new whitepaper from the Enterprise 2.0 conference, EnterpriseEfficiency.com parent company UBM TechWeb, and Sovos Group.
There's a lot of good information and analysis in the report, but let me put the bottom line right at the top, in brutally plain English:
Enterprise 1.0 technology has all the data and runs the mission-critical systems, but does a crappy job of making that information accessible in ways that people can actually use it.
Enterprise 2.0 technology does much better at engaging users and presenting information and collaboration in ways that make sense to the people using them. But in most cases, Enterprise 2.0 technology is still confined to peripheral, non-mission-critical silos far from the core enterprise data managed by Enterprise 1.0 solutions.
The inevitable effect? Lose–lose.
The problem is that modern consumers -- and enterprise workers, including IT workers -- "increasingly expect immediate reaction to interactions with companies, whether their employer or supplier," according to whitepaper authors Sameer Patel and Oliver Marks. But Enterprise 1.0 systems simply don't provide that, and most existing Enterprise 2.0 systems don't have the essential information that users have come to expect. "Customers are often looking for answers to questions that are beyond what a community manager or a marketing specialist can answer," the authors note.
The promise, still largely unrealized, is to connect those systems to marry the scale, rigor, and depth of Enterprise 1.0 systems with the user-friendly, real-time accessibility of Enterprise 2.0.
As the whitepaper authors put it: "By folding in lighter weight Enterprise 2.0 concepts, strategy and execution planning around these preexisting limiting structures [of Enterprise 1.0] it is possible to provide a balance between flexible new exceptions handling with the traditional process concepts and their associated technologies."
It's a compelling idea, and one that I haven't seen articulated quite this way. But it isn't going to be easy, or inexpensive, and I'm not sure that many enterprises are actually ready to head down this path. That would be a shame, as there is some real competitive advantage to be had in the combination of the best aspects of Enterprise 1.0 and Enterprise 2.0.
Read the executive summary on InformationWeek.com.
Download the entire whitepaper: Accelerating Business Performance
Learn more about the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, June 14-17.