Like most technologies, Web 2.0 is reaching a new level of maturity as more individuals and organisations are adopting these tools for collaboration and communication.
This McKinsey article, How Web 2.0 usage is changing over time discusses how the use of these applications within organisations has grown whillst inter-organisational collaboration has remained relatively constant, possibly due to the informal nature of the technologies.
It appears that the business areas most open to Web 2.0 adoption are the teams responsible for new product/service development and the associated knowledge management practices. These internal groups incorporated Web 2.0 applications in their day to day activities to improve communication, remove process duplication, identify expertise and also as a way to cheaply reach a broad range of Customers.
How can Organisations now incorporate a Web 2.0 approach with existing formal Customer and Supplier relationships?
Now this concept may be a little “out there” for some but it does offer some amazing collaboration opportunities.
Take a look at the IBM Sametime 3D product used by large organisations to conduct virtual meetings in Linden’s Second Life.
For $50 000 corporations can use this product that also includes conferencing tools that integrate with internal directories and have been developed by IBM specifically for use in this virtul environment. Some of the collaboration tools in this app include whiteboards, calendars, ppt slides, video, text messaging and voice integration that can be used in virtual meetings of up to 20 people. According to IBM, a couple of companies across a wide range of industries are already using these environments for corporate strategic planning and the product is commonly used within IBM for daily team meetings where staff are geographically dispersed.
With this application in mind, I’m currently exploring the concept of process modelling in Second Life and specifically the effectiveness of these collaboration tools to a process improvement initiative. I’ll share my findings as we progress with this. 🙂
Birgit has addded some great thoughts on Business Process Modelling using Social Networks on her excellent blog site. She mentions how Organisations have different levels of collaboration and also some BPM vendors who incorporate social networking in their methodology. Well worth a read!
The traditional approach to Business Process Management has been to use a tool like Aris or even Visio to develop swimlane diagrams that are shared amongst modellers to develop process improvement initiatives. But there are big changes on the way…
This Forrester Research article by Clay Richardson, Social Technologies Will Drive The Next Wave Of BPM Suites, maps the maturity of the 15 most critical technologies that make up the BPM landscape.
A key takeaway from this report is that of all the technologies evaluated, the components that generated the most buzz and excitement had some connection with social media or Web 2.0. Specifically the use of collaboration and social networking applications which capture the Organisational whitespace. As mentioned in a previous post, the use of Google Wave will allow process related conversations to be traced throughout the process lifecycle.
BPM and Enterprise 2.0 working together for process improvement – this is the future of Business Process Management, Organisational collaboration and knowledge sharing. Let’s make it happen!
What will the collaboration space look like in five years time…
Google Wave promises to deliver an “explosion of innovation” due to it’s workflow, versioning and security functionality.
Briefly, Google Wave enables Users to work on the same content (known as a “wave”) which allows for text and multimedia functionality. A key use for Wave will be the reduction of email attachments and the associated versioning issues that comes with them. Google has accomplished this through the use of components called “wavelets” that are kept current on distributed servers. So if a comment is added to the wave on one server, all servers are updated with new versions of the wavelets. This also means that a change history is maintained and allows you to “playback” the version changes like a conversation so that you can see how the issue/topic has evolved from the first comment and who said what – another way to capture collective intelligence!
In truth this is just another buzzword.
Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0/Knowledge Management 2.0 – I prefer to just think of these labels in terms of context and version. Where web 2.0 is aimed at individuals collaborating and connecting, Enterprise 2.0 has a corporate slant with a view to scalability/enterprise wide distribution and a reassuring level of system security.
We could define Enterprise 2.0 as the application of Web 2.0 social software between, within, and for organisations. A Websense report (April 09) offers the following insights:
* Employers want more use of Web 2.0 in the workplace
* IT departments need to find balance between risk and allowing access
* Increased pressure for more Web 2.0 is coming from top-level executives
* 53% of IT managers surveyed admitted that their users try to bypass their company’s security policies
* Companies seeking guidance on establishing Web 2.0 usage policies
Key benefits of adopting an Enterprise 2.0 approach. as explained by Dion Hincliffe, are represented in the below diagram:
The concept of Enterprise 2.0 is further supported by the business driver of changing organisational culture. Organisations now expect employees to be technologically competent, work collaboratively in geographically dispersed teams and be empowered in their decision making.
As Richard Florida stated “People don’t need to be managed, they need to be unleashed” 🙂
Charlie Davidson has put up an interesting post on the use of “Enterprise RSS” and how it can make organisational knowledge more accessible.
In his post, and with reference to Attensa StreamServer, Charlie mentions the concept of “managed syndication services”. From an Enterprise 2.0 perspective, he rightly states that “the focus of the debate needs to move from technology to business results” such as solving business issues, identifying new opportunities and ROI.
The common organisational requirements of information/knowledge management and staff collaboration can be challenging due to an evolving systems architecture and a distributed workforce. By tailoring shared information to the relevant business context, the actual value of the knowledge is enhanced and becomes more applicable to the issue at hand.