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Archive for the tag “Dion Hinchcliffe”

Discussion on Failures in Adopting Enterprise 2.0

I’ve been reading lately, a tonne of articles discussing why Enterprise 2.0 projects sometimes fall short and why sometimes what sounded so good at first suddenly fell in a big heap of over-hyped software. In this post, I’m going to discuss 3 reasons why Enterprise 2.0 can fail. Check out: 14 Reasons Why Enterprise 2.0 Projects Fail - for a more indepth discussion. A lot of my ideas for this post came from here and it has some very good links to other articles.

1. The tool isn’t sharp enough

Every company has its own requirements when it comes to Enterprise 2.0. The fact of the matter is Enterprise 2.0 giants such as Microsoft Sharepoint (the most popular E2.0 tool on the market) are made to satisfy the masses and appeal to the largest audience possible. What they don’t provide are solutions to individual companies that quite frequently need something specific to their business domain. More specifically, the tools are there, they just aren’t customised enough making it an eternal struggle for the users to make it fit. If your business requires something different to the masses, it could be worth investing in something with more than just the default settings enabled.

2. Spend some money

Not usually what your CEO would want to hear but a lot of Enterprise 2.0 projects fail because no one knows what they are doing. Spend some money on giving basic training about social media tools and what Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 is. Of course, this varies greatly on the context and employees in your business. Usually there will be a portion of a company’s workforce who are keen forerunners in adopting these tools and will learn themselves. But the older ranks will be skeptic and giving them basic information about how “users add value” will get them interested and using the tools in the right way.

Dion Hinchcliffe puts it well, “Understanding what tags are and how they help users locate content later on, publishing frequently requested information in blogs, teaching that wiki editing is safe and that it’s virtually impossible to harm them are all key learnings that many less-social media literate workers will greatly benefit from and can actively address many upfront barriers to adoption.”

3. Why do we need this?

Starting an Enterprise 2.0 project without having a clear idea of what it is going to be used for and what problems it will address is like an 80 year old buying a high-end computer with quad-core processing to read emails. Don’t get sucked in because everyone is doing it. Have a clear purpose and know what it is you are hoping to achieve. That way employees also know what to use it for. There will always be employees who invent great ways to use a tool however to encourage uptake, market it as a solution to an age-old problem that everyone encounters on a day to day basis. For instance, “Don’t send each other a billion emails a day and spend your whole day reading emails. Instead, use a wiki or update your status to let your colleagues know what you are doing.” Everyone hates a full inbox so the interest will rise.

These are just 3 reasons why Enterprise 2.0 projects fail. Of course every failure has its individual reasons but these ones I found quite interesting and possibly more fitting to a wider number of cases. And finally, slightly off topic but entertaining none the less.. here is a list of the “Nine worst social media fails of 2009…thus far“.

Feel free to add comments :) and let me know of any E2.0 fails you have heard of.

Enterprise 2.0 in action

After my last post I have decided to take another angle at businesses using enterprise 2.0. In this post I’m going to discuss only one company who has used enterprise 2.0 in their business internally. Why only one? Because there’s a lot to talk about and you don’ t want to be reading this all day.

A company I found that has dived head first into adopting enterprise 2.0 is that of Accenture, a global consulting firm, (Buckler, 2007). The CTO of Accenture, Donald Rippert, sees the future of technology in the enterprise merging with technology in the realm of web 2.0. In 2007, Accenture went live with “a new global employee network that looks much like Facebook,” (Buckler, 2007). After discovering how easy it was to find content on Youtube, no matter how novice or unheard of the content creator, Rippert wondered why finding information on their corporate database and archives was next to impossible. The key to solving the mystery lay in the way social media and web 2.0 applications use and promote tagging of content. So in a similar manner that delicious enables tagging, the idea of users adding value and assisting searches via tags was conceived.

After introducing the online global network within Accenture, the company then introduced several other web 2.0 tools that they transformed/reinvented into their own enterprise 2.0 tools. These include a wiki called Accenturepedia and a video-based knowledge sharing system called AccentureTube (borrowing its name from web 2.0 site YouTube). Accenturepedia runs much like any other wikis allowing employees access to centralised data to which they can contribute themselves. AccentureTube acts as one large internal video database which users can upload work-related content, tag it and share amongst colleagues. The idea was to keep the system familiar (by borrowing ideas from YouTube), to enhance and promote its use, (Neal, 2008).

In terms of the Wikinomics business models (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Globally), Accenture has been able to achieve all of these goals internally. The company was already global so by offering the enterprise 2.0 tools without pressure they fostered and promoted global interactions amongst their employees. This in turn lead to peering, in that the different facets of the company could collaborate, find each other and communicate ideas easily. Although I have not discussed how Accenture reaches out to its community, they are miles ahead in terms of sharing their innovations, reasearch and experiences across a broad range of fields including their adoption of enterprise 2.0 via their website. They are actively being open and sharing their information to the wider community via blogs, podcasts and downloadable documents.

Accenture’s enterprise 2.0 ventures can also be compared to the SLATES paradigm as proposed by Andrew McAfee. Firstly, searching was made easier by the ability for employees to tag media with keywords. Secondly, linking was acceleratd by giving the masses the ability to edit wikis, tag media and so forth hence creating a dense link structure in their intranet. Thirdly, employees were given the ability to author. They can edit, create and contribute to the Accenturepedia wikis. This also steams from the inherent nature of web 2.0 being about collaboration, the network effect and users adding value (some patterns identified by Tim O’Reilly as being at the heart of web 2.0). Tagging was delivered by Accenture as discussed earlier to categorise and give relevance to content so that user could find and gain information more quickly. Extensions come of course with tagging, the AccentureTube if similar to YouTube, would use tags to offer relevant and similar types of video content to the user in a side pane, extending extra content to them. Signalling would be intergrated into their enterprise 2.0 tools to enable users to quickly view what has changed and what content has been added. This could come in the form of RSS feeds or email updates to changes in a wiki they are monitoring.

Finally, how does Accenture’s E2.0 infrastucture address Dion Hinchcliffe’s extension to the SLATES paradigm? Hinchcliffe sights social, emergent, freeform and network-oriented elements as an important part of enterprise 2.0. In my opinion the Accenture infrastucture covers the social, emergent and freeform nature of E2.0 and its fully web-based nature allows information to be addressable and reusable.

For anyone interested, I’ve found a video interview with the director of Fast Innovation and director of innovation, technology and learning at Accenture that might be of interest here. In particular, she briefly mentions how she tried to convince management to get an “avatar”.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ll keep up updated if I find any more interesting news articles on Accenture.

References
Accenture. (2009). Accenture GLobal Research and Insights. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, https://www.accenture.com/Global/Research_and_Insights/default.htm
Buckler, G. (2007). Accenture CTO gets his Web 2.0 on. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=43006
Dawsom, R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0 – Sample Chapter. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://implementingenterprise2.com/IE2_Sample_Chapter_2.pdf
Koser, M. (2009). Accenture gets into Intranet 2.0. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from,  http://www.frogpond.de/index.php/archive/accenture-gets-into-intranet-20/
Neal, D. (2008). Innovation comes as a standard. Retrieved, August 19, from, http://www.computing.co.uk/itweek/analysis/2215255/innovation-comes-standard
Ross, J. (2009). FASTforward’09 Interview: Kirsti Kierulf, Director, The Fast Innovation Center and Director, Innovation, Technology, and Learning, Accenture. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from, http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2009/02/10/fastforward09-interview-kirsti-kierulf-director-the-fast-innovation-center-and-director-innovation-technology-and-learning-accenture/

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