With a new survey showing that the majority of people on the Web are willing to co-create, crowdsourcing is looking like a repeatable, reliable way to outsource work and partner with online communities to create concrete results. Crowdsourcing has become increasingly attractive to small businesses as well as enterprises. Yet this category remains stubbornly in the experimentation phase even as some firms start racking up significant wins. Here are the pros and cons of this approach as well as how companies get started in what is shaping up to be one of the most significant new approaches to global business in this century.
Enterprise Web 2.0
Dion Hinchcliffe on leveraging the convergence of IT and the next generation of the Web.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an expert in information technology, business strategy, and next-generation enterprises. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the digital business transformation firm Adjuvi. A veteran of enterprise IT, Dion has been working for two decades with leading-edge methods to bridge the widening gap between business and technology. He has extensive practical experience with enterprise technologies and he consults, advises, and writes prolifically on social business, IT, and enterprise architecture. Dion still works in the trenches with clients in the Fortune 1000, government, and Internet startup community. He is also a sought-after keynote speaker and is co-author of several books on 2.0 subjects including Web 2.0 Architectures from O'Reilly as well as the best-selling Social Business By Design from John Wiley & Sons (May, 2012.)
It's a story as old as the IT department: New technology arrives in the market, it makes some type of work easier to accomplish, the business asks for it, and IT reacts and delivers it. Not always however, and usually somewhat slowly. It was this way with PCs, it was this way with the Internet, and now IT is faced with what is turning out to be a veritable perfect storm of technology and social change. Will a new vision of IT (let's call it CoIT) let us resolve this perfect storm?
There's been some useful and interesting discussion in the blogosphere recently about collaborative social tools and their potential to improve business performance. Especially good takes have come from Hutch Carpenter, Sameer Patel, Ross Dawson, and ZDNet's own Dennis Howlett.At the core of this discussion is this essential question: Can social tools reach the "hard numbers" part of a business enough to make a real difference?
While the debate continues on about whether consumer social networking is an effective model for how we should run our organizations in the future, one under-appreciated online phenomenon is quietly and steadily remaking the very notion of business itself.The world of online communities has evolved with social computing to become one of the most powerful new models for getting work done. Read my exploration of "When online communities go to work."
Though smaller than in year's past, Germany's CeBIT trade show in Hanover this week remains one of the giants of the industry and is a must-attend event for much of Europe's technology leaders. For the last two years, I have been participating in Webciety, a show within a show that explores the emerging 21st century digital lifestyle.Here is a breakdown of how Europe is looking at Enterprise 2.0 adoption and how it affects us as well.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, the well-known CRM and cloud computing company (and now soon-to-be social software vendor) wrote a guest post on TechCrunch late last week making the case for “why enterprise software should take its cues from Facebook and become more social.” What then does this mean for the future of IT and what impacts will social computing ultimately have on the enterprise.
Can social tools and community-based approaches truly help our government function better and operate more efficiently? Will open access to government data create important new opportunities for citizens and increase transparency? As we'll see, these two questions are currently top-of-mind in many public sector policy discussions this year. The questions also herald underlying forces at work in the government landscape in many countries around the world, including the United states.Here are some of the initiatives that are taking place this year and what's happening with Government 2.0 as 2010 begins to heat up.
Two significant and closely related trends in enterprise computing this year are the growth of Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and social computing. By most accounts, both are gaining ground fairly rapidly while still not being used for core business functions or mission critical applications in most large firms, at least not yet.Here's a breakdown of what Enterprise 2.0 technologies and products to watch this year.
Earlier this afternoon Google Buzz went live after a comprehensive launch event streamed live over YouTube. Buzz is a brand-new social tool that helps users to share updates, links, photos, videos, and more with the online world at large. Aimed at consumers and eventually enterprises, Buzz is Google's most serious Social Web play yet. Find out why with my detailed breakdown and analysis.
I spent some time this morning working with SAP's new 12Sprints collaboration service, which was announced earlier this week. Available free in open beta immediately, it's a cloud-based service that's a cross between Basecamp and Google Wave and is ostensibly designed for team collaboration. Not incidentally, 12Sprints is also clearly a social application and it includes viral invitation, extensive commenting and discussion capabilities, and interesting new twists on measuring community opinion such as real time consensus tracking. Here's my analysis and breakdown.
There's been some debate recently on whether Social CRM is part of the broader Enterprise 2.0 story. I try to answer the question and explore some of the latest thinking on social business and how it can help transform the customer relationship for real competitive advantage.
Amazon announced today that it was opening up its Kindle reader device to 3rd party applications to be distributed later this year in the Kindle Store.This news was just one more in a string of announcements from platform vendors large and small that they're getting the message: The app store model that Apple has proved so successfully with the iPhone is becoming the next frontier when it comes to next-generation software distribution that creates clear value for both customers and companies alike.What will then mean for software distribution models of the future? You can bet they will look a lot like the Apple App Store...
The emergence of Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social Web as a global force in the last several years has done a great deal to highlight their potential to fundamentally alter the way we communicate and collaborate both at home and in business. However, despite the movement of social computing into our daily lives we're all clearly on a long journey together as the technologies themselves emerge from infancy.The state-of-the-art today when it comes to the social computing environments that surround us now -- in our browsers, mobile devices, and elsewhere -- underscore how much more we have left to do to make these new modes of digital conversation and discourse become mature, efficient, safe, and truly useful.Fortunately the Web doesn't stand still and there continues continues to be rapid research and development when it comes to the mechanics of today's online social universe. There are many new efforts under way to refine and improve the world of social media, some of which we'll explore here and many which are just beginning...
The reality of cloud computing as it exists today already offers significant potential to IT departments that want to cut costs, lighten their infrastructure footprint, and adopt agile new technologies. Whether it's private clouds or public ones, all signs point towards it being one of the top new approaches for enterprise IT for 2010. This is coming right at a time when traditional enterprise models for IT have come under increasingly sharp criticism for failure to perform, including most recently SOA and just about any "big system" enterprise project these days.Most would agree that something needs to change, and the cloud might be the first compelling escape route from a long-standing conundrum: How can we connect information technology directly to the business in a much more effective and less failure-prone way than we do now? I explore the latest debate surround enterprise IT and how cloud computing will augment or even entirely replace IT eventually.
As we get ready to enter the final year of the decade, here's a round-up of what you found interesting here on Enterprise Web 2.0 based on actual readership. We'll see what the new year brings us but 2009 was full of notable developments that will have a lasting impact to way we using technology in business.This year was a significant one for next-generation IT and business, particularly with the rapid rise of cloud computing and emerging trends in social computing. The "Great Recession" of 2009 itself was also a significant topic as well as strategic business transformation using Web 2.0 technologies.Based on what readers here found most interesting or otherwise worthy of their attention, here's a breakdown of what the top 10 posts here on ZDNet's Enterprise Web 2.0, in reverse order.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 The "Big Five" IT trends of the next half decade: Mobile, social, cloud, consumerization, and big data
- 2 Ten leading platforms for creating online communities
- 3 20 contemporary enterprise collaboration tools
- 4 Eight ways that cloud computing will change business
- 5 Today's enterprise collaboration landscape: Cloudy, social, mobile