Attending the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT in Frankfurt last week was great fun and a real learning experience. I especially appreciated meeting and talking to a lot of the great folks I have meet online but whom I never before have had a chance to meet IRL.
Although I haven't yet had the time to digest all of the interesting things which were exchanged at the summit, I think I'm ready to share some of my takeways from the summit.
It's about business transformation
Enterprise 2.0 technologies are helping to facilitate and accelerate a transformation towards more agile, responsive and innovative enterprises. This transformation requires organizations to turn from siloed command-and-control hero-worshiping organizations to open and transparent organizations where employees are trusted and empowered to collaborate and share information and knowledge with each other. Once is transformation is complete, or just set in motion in such a way that it continues by itself, we will no longer talk about Enterprise 2.0.
Micro-sharing is on the rise
Micro-blogging, or micro-sharing if you will, was one of the most talked about Enterprise 2.0 technologies at the summit, probably because it is the most easily implemented and adopted technology. Micro-blogging platforms bring conversations to seemingly dead digital work environments and allows a question to find answers, information to be shared without knowing in advance who might need it, people to find people to collaborate with, ideas to surface from anywhere and being discussed and developed in the open. These are all needs which have existed for a very long time in large organizations, but which have been impossible to satisfy with existing technologies such as email, intranets and groupware.
The typical adoption process is organic grass-root adoption of SaaS services such as Yammer and Presently that builds up to a scale and point where organizations are forced to deal with it in order to take control of the information being shared and to answer to the needs and wishes of their employees.
Business processes are next
The focus of many Enterprise 2.0 initiatives are on networking, community building, information sharing and serendipity. However, what is still lacking is the discussion and examples on how it can add value to business processes in terms of making it easier to handle interruptions, fixing broken processes, improving and innovating business processes, supporting decision-making, making on-boarding of new people to business processes easier, and reducing human latency in business process execution. For example, how can we make use of micro-blogging in business processes to achieve some of these things? I think we will see much more "contextualized" applications of social software connected to business processes during the years to come. That's what I hope will be discussed and showcased at the next summit.