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The year of the shift to Enterprise 2.0

By annie shum | May 16, 2009

May 15th, 2009 Posted by Dion Hinchcliffe
Traditional collaboration tools can create powerful, local information flows but little build-up of value over time

The latest data emerging on how enterprises are using Web 2.0 tools in the workplace this year is painting a picture of a sea change in the way those businesses conduct collaboration and communication amongst their workers, and to a lesser extent the rest of the world.

Intriguing new just-released reports now show that between a third and one half of businesses either already are or will be employing so-called Enterprise 2.0 tools in the workplace (blogs, wikis, and social networking/messaging) in 2009. The data also show that security concerns remain high, access is actually fairly low, compliance with mainstream enterprise data practices is poor, and some workers aren’t planning to get anywhere near them.

The bottom line: The tools have arrived. How enterprise knowledge and is created and flows within our organizations is beginning to change dramatically.


In my recent post about the return on investment (ROI) of Enterprise 2.0, I cited the most recent widely available data as of mid-2008 saying approximately a third of businesses have the tools in place. However, we know have additional, more recent datapoints that shows both the latest adoption rates as well as some of the concerns that business have with use of the social tools inside and outside their organizations:

Nearly one in two businesses will make use of Enterprise 2.0 software in 2009. According to a new report from Forrester, despite the novelty of the technologies (only 3 years old), the percentage penetration is very high, about half of all enterprises globally. Tellingly however, actual employee access to the said tools is fairly low and few enterprises are taking a “holistic” approach and are using them in a more targeted and/or fragmented manner.

Business use of social networking has rough parity with personal use, while a quarter of people are not planning to use the tools at all. A broad new survey of over 6,000 respondents released yesterday by TMCnet and IntelliCom Analytics shows consistent business use of the social networking tools tools across organizations of all sizes and around the globe, ranging from 35% to almost half, depending on the demographic. The survey also found that company policies around social tools also remain far behind adoption, with less than half of all organizations having official policies on use. Also, some workers are determined to be disengaged, with about 25% reporting no plans to use social networks, period.

Concerns about the security issues with social computing is high, around 80%. A new survey from Deloitte, also released yesterday, showed that Web 2.0 and social engineering security concerns are at an all-time high. Pretexting and phishing are now widely regarded as a serious threat to most organization’s information security.

At least 50 percent of organizations will use wikis as important work collaboration toos in 2009. This is a slightly older but new to me finding from a respected source, the Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council (APC). The report notes that “with over 75% of the global assets tied up in knowledge assets, having access to increased solutions to improve collaboration productivity is a key growth factor for organizations that want to improve their innovation capacity.” The report itself is only available to members, but is summarized well here.

Management of content types like SMS/text messages, blogs and wikis are largely off the corporate radar in 75% of organizations. The AIIM State of ECM Report for 2009 says this issue (lack of indexing and archiving of these vital information flows) is a major management risk. It’s also a terrible and unnecessary loss for most organizations.

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