Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Enterprise 2.0 vs. Web 2.0 (Chicken vs. Egg)

Some say the web is evolving into another version, often called Web 2.0. Others talk about the evolving Enterprise, and use a similar 2.0 appendix. New technologies enable new ways of working and fresh ways of working lead to technology innovations. Often it is difficult to pinpoint what is the chicken or the egg in this creative process.

How to define Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0? Depending on whom you ask you will most likely get different answers. Useful perspectives in understanding the Enterprise/Web 2.0 phenomenon are:

  • Business: Leaders of the Enterprise 2.0 movement are aiming for business models that are agile, open, distributed, on demand etc. These concepts are supposed to contrast to traditional hierarchical and bureaucratic organizations managed using order and control mechanisms.
  • Technology: IT people promote that services and content can be reused and re-purposed using techniques such as Feeds, File Sharing, Mashups, Web Services etc. Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript And XML) is the main driver behind a richer web user experience. User generated content and metadata are produced via Wikis, Blogs, Folksonomies and the like.
  • Human: The consumer (end-user) seems to be the king when it comes to adopting new practices and technology. Current social trends embrace more open collaboration where content is created and shared in self-organizing networks and communities.

One key question for Enterprises is how to utilize these emerging business, technology and human fields. Many enterprises are probably eager to implement Web 2.0 technologies, but will the technologies bring the desired benefits without implementing the business and human fields? Enterprise 2.0 evangelists will probably have difficulties in realizing their business visions without the technology and human fields.

So, which came first, the (Enterprise ) Chicken or the (Web) Egg? Without being to philosophical I think we can conclude that the chicken and the egg are interlinked and mutually dependent on each other for survival and wealth.


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