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.
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.