Back in the dot-com era, you often saw articles about new Internet technologies that would revolutionise business. The Enterprise 2.0 phenomenon has not reached the hype levels of the dot-com period, but sometimes I am a bit sceptical of some claims made about social networking for the enterprise – and I mentioned that in a blog last week.
Now AMR has brought some reality into the debate with a report about results from Enterprise 2.0 early adopters. The early adopters failed to find benefits in the areas of customer and partner relationshipships, but get results in terms of internal collaboration. That doesn’t surprise me because, by their very nature, early adopters look for the value in new technology, while everyone else considers it ‘pie in the sky’.
Having been involved in some technology-driven initiatives several years ago that didn’t go anywhere in the business – artificial intelligence, executive information systems – I have a mental checklist of issues to evaluate. AMR repeats the decision agenda that a business should follow for any new technology project:
What is the urgent business objective that the technology can address?
What project will be easiest to implement?
Where can you get the most business value for the least complex implementation?
What departments will be able to best exploit the new opportunities?
There is also the recognition that social networking is a technology that will require engaging with customers, partners and employees, for quite a period of time, just to get them to start understanding the implications of such an initiative.
Meanwhile, one innovation from social software that I can appreciate is a disaster watch for Hurrican Ike on Twitter.