Information Technology Management with a Purpose

Jan 16 2012   10:13AM GMT

Enterprise 2.0

S R Balasubramanian Profile: S R Balasubramanian

We keep hearing about Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 and often wonder what they mean. Various definitions are thrown at us and vendors do their bit to complicate matters with their high pitch selling. This technology was anyway in the making with the forward march of Web-based applications. The effort here is to simplify the subject to make it easily understandable.

Definition

Enterprise 2.0 is a system of Web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise.

Let me define it in another form. “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of ‘Web 2.0’ technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration – connecting people through the use of social-media tools. Enterprise 2.0 aims to help employees, customers and suppliers collaborate, share, and organize information.

Features of Enterprise 2.0

Having defined the term let us get to understand Enterprise 2.0 a little more from the following features that describe it well.

1. It is a technology that enables people to collaborate and/or for online communities. For instance, internal community platforms provide an environment for corporate employees to create a virtual forum to share their opinions, knowledge and subject-matter expertise on topics of interest.

2. This technology facilitates application of Web 2.0 to the enterprise.

3. It is a new set of technologies, models and methods used to develop and deliver business software.

4. The next step is in terms of delivering knowledge management in the organization. For example, idea generation can be a form of creating knowledge – also known as ideation – can involve a structured business methodology for collecting and incubating innovative ideas that could mature with community participation. Large corporations use idea management systems to solicit ideas from their customers and employees. Idea generation in some cases fuels the product pipeline.

5. Enterprise 2.0  enables business agility by putting together the ability to deliver various software services in the organization.

6. E 2.0 takes us to a higher level of collaboration. For example, you can have corporate wikis provide an easy-to-use environment for subject-matter experts to publish their interpretation on any subject.

7. It facilitates transparency by making information available to all who need it and for development of content-centric systems. Information is readily available and with suitable search engines, the users can locate the information they need.

8. Enterprise 2.0 adopts an approach that is user-centric and facilitates developing and accessing content.

9. It enables the use of social networking platforms either within the organization, company to company, or company to outside. You can have personal blogs, corporate blogs or social blogs depending on the community being served.

10. It gets us to the next level of enterprise content management. We can have a set of active contents required for regular access or archived information available on demand.

11. Enterprise 2.0 leverages collaboration to include not only employees but also business partners and other stakeholders in a seamless fashion. The net can be cast far and wide to enable collaboration across boundaries for the benefit of business.

To sum up

E 2.0 enables information assets to be kept in a structured way so that it is available to the users in a transparent manner. Content is kept in a non-hierarchical mode and those who have rights can access them directly with their allotted user names. Since the content is opened up for use by different communities, it becomes extremely important to ensure security and to make sure that it prevents contents from unauthorized access.

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