Guest Post: Steve Wylie on The Enterprise 2.0 Conference

I'm heading over to the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston on June 22.

I'm heading over to the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston on June 22. If you're interested in the social customer and how businesses should respond to them - and how workplace performance can be improved - this is the one conference you shouldn't miss all year.  I mean that.  Go.  I'll hook up with you if you're there. Contact me via Twitter to set up some time.

I asked Steve Wylie, the GM and Conference Director for this knockout of a conference and all around good guy,  to write a guest post because I don't think I'm persuasive enough and this guy has those needed mesmerizing powers to get you there - using rational thought as his hypnotic tool of choice.  He is also the editor of the Enterprise 2.0 Blog, which means he can write a pretty mean posting to begin with.   He'll give you an idea of why an Enterprise 2.0 event is even more cogent than ever.

SF-based Steve is an events industry veteran, having handled some of the biggest conferences around including the Interop mega-events in Las Vegas and New York. He is an IT industry veteran too, as the former program director for InteropNet, which ran a multi-vendor test lab geared to evaluate, improve and showcase early implementations of open-standard IT infrastructure technology.

I'm always amazed at what it takes to run an event. I think event planning is a magnificent and difficult venture.  But Enterprise 2.0 is not just an event, but one with actual content - and plenty of networking. Oh, if you want to hang around with the rock stars of the social web, they hang there too.   Here's where you can get more info on the conference.

I'd truly take advantage of this and make the effort to get there.

Take it away, Steve

The Next Phase of Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

Paul kindly invited me to share my thoughts on the Enterprise 2.0 market and provide some highlights for the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston.  As the conference chair, I’ve got a fairly unique perspective on the state of Enterprise 2.0 and some ideas on where we’re headed.  We’re roughly three years along since Harvard Professor Andrew McAfee first described this new category of enterprise software and organizational strategy that he dubbed “Enterprise 2.0”.  Someone recently asked me what’s changed in the Enterprise 2.0 market from that point to present day.

For starters, we really didn’t have much of “a market” to speak of three years ago. At that first Enterprise 2.0 Conference we described a new vision for business applications that included some truly ground-breaking concepts.  Attendees were largely business users and managers, frustrated with the disparity between fast-paced, consumer technology innovation and the dated applications being supported by corporate IT.  At that first conference we were embarking on a radical journey to  turn these business applications and the corporate culture around them upside down.  We were ready to take on the world.

Fast forward three years and those early aspirations are now grounded in reality.  Momentum is building for what is now truly an Enterprise 2.0 “market” and we’re seeing many early signs of success. But while we’ve made tremendous progress in three years, Enterprise 2.0 concepts and applications are still striving to reach more wide-spread, enterprise-scale adoption. There is an abundance of use cases around small or department-level successes but far fewer examples of large-scale deployments – examples of Enterprise 2.0 concepts and applications that form part of an organization-wide fabric for productivity and communication.  Why is that?

While we could argue that this is a very new market and that businesses take time to change, I also believe that Enterprise 2.0 will be challenged by large-scale adoption until corporate IT is fully on board.  Early adoption has been largely driven by business users and department-level managers.  They had a problem to solve and were fed up waiting for IT to provide the solutions they needed.  They took matters into their own hands by finding workable, web-based solutions and even celebrated this new found freedom from IT.  With a few exceptions, IT took a reactive posture to Enterprise 2.0 and viewed it as a threat to be managed, secured and even blocked in some cases.

Three years later and I see that posture changing for many IT leaders. We’re entering a new era where forward-looking IT leaders embrace Enterprise 2.0 as a strategic advantage and as part of a cohesive, company-wide system.   This change is an important ingredient to the next phase of Enterprise 2.0 adoption.

So what should you expect from this year’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference?  Expect to network with nearly 1500 people from over 40 countries.  Expect our most comprehensive program to date with deep coverage of new topics like Social Media and Cloud Computing.  Expect even more innovation from industry veterans and start-up vendors preparing for the next big thing.  And expect to hear some really compelling case studies and speakers from organizations like the Obama Campaign, the US Army, Booz Allen Hamilton, Volvo and Jet Blue, all ready to share their experiences on how Enterprise 2.0 is transforming business – changing the world.


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