Friday, April 2, 2010

Death of E2.0 and birth of collaboration environment design

These past few weeks, I was back to a very intense consulting period, and was almost invisible in the "2.0" sphere (blogosphere and twitterville, basically).

It was an opportunity to think back on these past few months of E2.0 projects, and on the new developments I see appearing. I wonder whether Enterprise 2.0 is not dead ...

I do not mean that projects have stopped or that companies have lost interest in social technologies. I mean that, these past few weeks, I have been working on business issues in which social technologies and improved collaboration were considered as real options to deal with these issues.

There are three business areas in which social technologies and improved collaboration are considered as key improvement axes : innovation management; HR practices improvement; wide corporate transformation.

Social technologies and collaborative strategies are maturing much quicker than I had anticipated, at least in some companies. This should increase the pace of equipment with social platforms and wider collaborative environments. It should also put some pressure on small players, as corporate transformation does not accept partial solutions: building corporate-wide, comprehensive collaboration environments, is no longer a matter of wikis, blogs or microblogging solutions.

In fact, this "death" of E2.0 is an opportunity for CIOs to really think forward and start imagining what their own corporate collaborative environment could look like (see what Dion has to say about this). I forecast that business is going to put real pressure on state-of-the-art collaborative environments. Obviously, off-the-shelf solutions exist.

But they are not enough. Think about it : would you trust your building company to design your next industrial plant, or would you have your preferred architect meet with your manufacturing, R&D, management and supply-chain guys to design the plant best adapted to your industry challenges ?

This is exactly the challenge with collaborative environments. Use off-the-shelf solutions, and you will get average environments. Now think about what that will mean for your human capital, knowledge management, innovation management and client relationship strategies ... Exactly. Collaboration environment design just became your key strategic move.