Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why CIOs need to put Enterprise 2.0 high on their agenda

Last week, I was able to attend two IT executive conferences - the TCS Summit and Telwares Global CIO Forum. At both shows, I was given the opportunity to present my views on innovation, agile development, and enterprise 2.0 and also highlight BusinessWeek's social media product for business professionals, Business Exchange.

Here are some of my notes on what CIOs are saying and doing in Enterprise 2.0
  • Many have some form of collaboration and documentation management tool in place; Sharepoint, Wikis, or custom home grown solutions. Some of these CIOs see these as complete investments in E20, others recognize a bigger need and opportunity.
  • E20 is not top of their agenda - or even near the top of it - they know it's important - but when there is success using collaboration tools they are quick to champion them.
  • They are not heavy promoters or users of these technologies. Many are toying with Twitter, but few have found value.
  • There's a complete recognition that they need to have a different set of modern collaboration tools as the "Internet Generation" joins the workforce.
  • Some had some great stories - home runs - where social media provided significant business value.
Why CIOs need to put Enterprise 2.0 High on their Agenda

Here's the issue - these tools are getting more sophisticated and more usage. If the CIO doesn't sponsor these tools, it's very likely that different groups within the enterprise will choose themselves. Yes, that exposes issues of security, privacy, and intellectual property. But it also represents a huge missed opportunity of bringing a single or set of collaboration tools to the enterprise and overseeing its adoption and maturity.

What Must CIOs DO?
First and foremost - participate! You won't "get" enterprise collaboration by delegating it or watching from the sidelines. You also won't see its value by light, passive participation over short periods of time. Does this mean you must Twitter? No, not necessarily. Answer a LinkedIn question. Add reactions on the CIO Business Exchange topic.

Second, find individuals and teams who will be enterprise champions. Why are they participating? How does it, or could it help your organization?

Third, consider what types of open, collaborative environments could provide business value or impact.

Then... do what you know how to do... Evaluate technologies and build cross-functional teams that can leverage these tools to solve specific business needs. Capture success and metrics. Then consider how to scale the effort to other areas of the organization.

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