The term “Enterprise 2.0″ was coined by Harvard Professor Andrew McAfee, during 2006, in an MIT Sloan Management Review article entitled “Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration”, as opposed to Web 2.0 (which was popularized by Tim O’Reilly in 2004).

When asked “What is Enterprise 2.0?”, the typical response might be “The application of Web 2.0 in the enterprise”. AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management association, states that there is more to Enterprise 2.0 than that. “Web 2.0 is focused on consumer and public-facing Web sites although that distinction was not explicitly made in the original definition.Enterprise 2.0 is much more about businesses’ adoption of “2.0 mindsets” than with the consumer facing side of the coin.” Plus, there is the lack of preciseness around the term Web 2.0.

AIIM defines Enterprise 2.0 as: “A system of Web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence, and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise.” (see AIIM Market IQ, Q1 2008, “Enterprise 2.0: Agile, Emergent & Integrated”, by Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen).

A couple of frameworks for Enterprise 2.0 include one from Prof. McAfee, which goes by the mnemonic SLATES (Search, Links, Authorship, Tags, Extensions and Signals), and another from Dion Hinchcliffe which goes by the mnemonic FLATNESSES (Freeform, Links, Authorship,Tagging, Network-oriented, Extensions, Search,Social, Emergence and Signals).

In similar fashion to AIIM, Forrester Research believes that “the term Web 2.0 has come to embody both consumer and business use of next-generation Web technology but that this lumping together of services is too imprecise to be practical” (see Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 To 2013 by G. Oliver Young dated April 21, 2008). Young states that as a result, “most pundits and technology strategists segment the market between consumer Web 2.0 services and business Web 2.0 services.” Forrester thus refers to “the business Web 2.0 market as enterprise Web 2.0, which encompasses Web 2.0 technology and service investments for both externally facing marketing functions and internally facing productivity and collaboration functions.” So for example, Forrester doesn’t include Blogger, Facebook or Twitter as Enterprise 2.0 services even though they are Web 2.0 services.

Forrester believes that “enterprise Web 2.0 technologies represent a fundamentally new way to connect with customers and prospects and to harness the collaborative power of employees.” They specifically refer to Enterprise 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasting, social networking, mashups, and widgets.

The list of Enterprise 2.0 technologies provided by AIIM is quite similar and consists of mashups, blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasting, social voting/ranking and social bookmarking.

One has to remember though that even if Enterprise 2.0 technologies such as the ones listed above provide for rapid and agile collaboration and empowerment, there has to be a cultural openness to this within an enterprise for it to truly be successful. So it’s not only about aligning the technology with the business, but aligning the culture with the technology that now becomes the challenge.

In future posts, we will take a look at some of these Enterprise 2.0 technologies and the cultural issues around the adoption of Enterprise 2.0.


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