Enterprise 2.0 is more about culture and people than technology


In the wake of the Enteprise 2.0 Executive Forum, Peter-Evans Greenwood, CTO of Capgemini Australia, has written in considerably more detail on his thoughts on culture and generational change, which he and others spoke about on the final panel on the path forward.

I have a theory. It seems that most people learn something in their early to mid 20s, and then spend the rest of their career happily doing the same thing over and over again. …. Once they’ve established what it is they do they just want to keep doing it, hoping that the world will remain as it was in their early adulthood.

If change is the driver in our organizations, but our organizations are resistant to change, then the biggest challenge we face in not technical but the strategy we use to manage change. It’s quite easy to define a technically and economically possible solution that would provide a boost to our business, or even deliver a step change in capability. But if we cannot get our organization to deliver and then adopt the solution, all our work will be for naught.

So what does this mean for the IT department? No matter how important our success is to the success of the company as a whole, IT is a cost center; value is created at the business coal face, not in the IT department. It’s not our job to deploy the new Enterprise 2.0 solution that will revolutionize the business and then force the business to change. We need to focus on the users, rather than thinking in terms of technologies and IT assets, understand the challenges they are facing and provide them with tools and techniques that they can use to innovate themselves. IT as facilitator rather than asset manager. Or as I heard in the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum the other day, give them they structure they want and focus on managing the flow rather than trying to force them to do something a particular way.

Well worth reading the complete post.

What delighted me more than anything else at the Forum was that the underlying attitudes of Web 2.0 were so clearly and consistently stated by the leaders and practitioners in the space, far more than focusing on technology. Attitudes of participation and openness can now be readily supported by technology, and aligned to create business value. This can sound soft, but try to run an organization where the attitudes are being aloof and closed.

Peter’s thoughts were posted on Capgemini’s CTO blog, which brings together the contributions from Capgemini’s Global Chief Technology Officer and the CTOs for Australia, UK/Ireland, and Northern Europe/ Asia Pacific. Capgemini is ahead of its peers in this initiative, which says a lot about its understanding of Web 2.0.

1 reply
  1. Jordan Frank
    Jordan Frank says:

    Or, perhaps, Enterprise 2.0 is about process first, technology second and culture, last. Why? Business information (communication and knowledge) moves from person to person or person to people in a way that is, perhaps, chaotic but predictably from point to point or within a given group sphere. This information flows as part of a process people go through, structured or not, in order to get work done.
    If you map the process to the technology – an Enterprise 2.0 approach with hypertext tools vs. a “1.0” approach with foldering and e-mail tools – then you can much more easily introduce the transformed (and better, faster, cheaper) process built on the new technology.
    And the culture change will follow the mechanics of simply following the process.
    More thoughts are pulled together in
    Same Old Same Old & Enterprise 2.0 Durability

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