Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0

Fredric Paul, Editor in Chief / Community Activist | 5/10/2010 | 8 comments

Fredric Paul
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.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Fredric Paul   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 6:33:01 PM
Re: Not surprising
@Sameer Patel, SharePoint seems to be talked about an awful lot, but frankly I'm not always completely clear on exactly what it is and what it does.  Perhaps because it's a "platform" and thus a step removed from actually providing services.

Wikipedia calls it "a content management system with integrated search functionality developed by Microsoft that allows users to work in a web-based collaborative environment. Microsoft provides certain built-in functionality, and third-party developers can also develop custom modifications to extend functionality."

Not sure that helps...

Fredric Paul   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 6:28:08 PM
Re: Not surprising
Over time, I think we'll see more and more mainline apps start to incorporate Enterprise 2.0 features. But it will take longer than we think. It's just not in the DNA of traditional enterprise software developers. And I don't think there's much overlap between that group and the next generation of iPhone app developers starting little companies in San Francisco and Silicon Alley.

It'd be cool, though, if those two groups did start to cross pollinate a bit. We'd get more powerful and robust Enterprise 2.0 "apps" and slicker, more usable Enterprise 1.0 "applications."

Any thoughts on how we could make that happen?
swylie650   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 5:18:26 PM
Re: Not surprising
I also think SAP is one to watch here. They dominate much of the process oriented apps and data repositories in the enterprise and are well positioned to add a social/collaborative layer to their current offerings. But the question remains whether a company like SAP will be able to acheieve this and then continue to innovate at the same pace we're now seeing with enterprise 2.0 pure-play vendors.
sameerpatel   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 4:55:21 PM
Re: Not surprising
Point well taken, Matthew:). We see SharePoint as part of the systems of record a lot. From our work, designing a cohesive collaboration strategy in line with descrete perfromance objectives can well include resident technologies such as SP + if warranted, newer Enteprrise 2.0 tools overlay, as part of the execution plan. 
zerox203   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 1:28:25 PM
Re: Not surprising
as someone who is a user more often than a systems architect, I can say  I am still of the camp that's constantly amazed by new and useful ways of getting services and information, instead of demanding more, but I also understand that I'm way in the minority on that.

I think the more these technologies are able to be truly useful to us by having access to critical data, and the less they remain nifty applets, the better. Combining them with more traditional systems will further justify not ony their implementation, but more importantly their value to the user, and therefore their cost to the enterprise.
SaneIT   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 11:17:10 AM
Re: Not surprising
IBM also has a product that they were pushing recently called Mashup Center http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/mashup-center/  Think of it as Enterprise 2.0 trying to reach deep into the Enterprise 1.0 resourses while they aren't watching.  It's pretty cool in concept if you don't have an easy route to migrate data to a more 2.0 friendly application.
Matthew McKenzie   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/11/2010 11:09:04 AM
Re: Not surprising
One word (or is it two?): SharePoint.

Of course, at this point, it's harder to name something that SharePoint does NOT do. Maybe that's a problem in itself.
zeppy   Enterprise 2.0, Meet Enterprise 1.0   5/10/2010 11:01:37 PM
Not surprising
That's an interesting, but not really surprising conclusion I think. In my mind most enterprise systems are still solidly in the "1.0" era. This reminds me a little of the recent thread we had about KM systems and social media -- for the changes to happen, the enterprise vendors are going to have to implement the social or "2.0" features that this report points out people are coming to expect.

A question I wonder about is which enterprise vendors are moving in this direction? Does anyone have any examples of social features being added to enterprise apps?

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