As discussed in this post, I believe enterprise 2.0 implementation challenges are being overlooked in the rush to adopt enterprise 2.0 software tools. A session called “Driving User Adoption of Enterprise 2.0 Technologies,” conducted as part of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference currently underway in Boston, confirmed that belief.
During the question and answer period, the panel (to see the speakers, click the link and scroll down to Tuesday 2:30-3:30PM) responded to questions from the audience regarding enterprise 2.0 product deployments. With a somewhat self-satisfied tone, the panel suggested that corporate adopters look at training, establish an “elite” project team, and define a standardized rollout process. Well, it seems to me that the enterprise 2.0 folks are reinventing the wheel when it comes to large-scale implementations.
It’s totally natural that this new breed of software vendors would follow the implementation footsteps of their big-software forebears. After all, successful software rollout and adoption programs are driven by people and process issues: selecting the right technology in the first place, managing the process carefully, and encouraging those pesky users to actually use the new tools.
One CEO panelist described with pride how his company’s paying customers are welcome to call his mobile phone at 2:00AM for support. While I love this dedication to customer service, it’s not the kind of scalable infrastructure that enterprise customers demand when contemplating an organization-wide deployment. I applaud the enthusiasm, but more substance is needed.
Enterprise 2.0 products generally cost a fraction of their enterprise 1.0 software counterparts, but the all-important human dimension remains unchanged. And the human dimension is where software implementations succeed or fail.
(Lest anyone think I’m an apologist for big software systems, take a look here.)