Open Enterprise 2009 Study – Midyear Findings | (re-blogged!)

(NOTE: This post was re-blogged as shared reading. Embedded links don’t work. Please, follow the reference link at the end to original. – Jos Schuurmans;

We have posted the midyear findings of the Open Enterprise 2009 Study.

In the Fall of 2008, I became disenchanted with the sorts of information I could find about actual adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and techniques with the enterprise. Either I was drowned in mind-numbing marketspeak produced by vendors in ‘white papers’ and case studies, or else I was confused by analytic papers from consultants or analysts that seemed more oriented toward supporting a particular dogma about management or collaboration than reporting what practitioners were actually doing. I decided to launch the Open Enterprise 2009 study to find out what was actually going on out there.

Relatively quickly I approached Oliver Marks to join the project as partner, and as a good counterbalance for me. Oliver has a great background working for consulting firms and large corporations, an experience that I lack, and has a deep-seated optimism about the limits of tools, which counters my over-enthusiasm for technology.

Having done no prior research on the subject, we reverted to form, and starting interviewing a wide range of brilliant people, to see what might emerge from the talk soup. Those interviews—at least the public side of them—have been published on the Enterprise 2.0 blog (Enterprise 2.0 is a partner in our research efforts) and include several dozen prominent thinkers, practitioners, vendors, and authors. Our principle goals were to accomplish three major things:

1. To discover what were the main drivers for and barriers to adoption of Web 2.0 technologies.
2. To determine what the state of the practice is for 2009 in North America (and some contact with Western Europe).
3. To find out what are the most innovative companies, and what had they done to accomplish whatever they have?

I think we have been relatively successful in meeting our goals, and we have learned a great deal. Certainly the economy has become the elephant in the room, but as we shall explore in later sections, it has both created challenges to enterprise 2.0 activities as well as new impetus for innovation. Perhaps it comes as little surprise that the major themes that reoccur time and time again, with nearly all that we talk to, are leadership, adoption, culture, technology, and openness and sharing.

We also decided during the early spring that we should recognize the most innovative companies we could find, culminating in an award. In collaboration with Enterprise 2.0, we will be presenting the Open Enterprise 2009 Innovation Award at that conference.

To a much greater degree than I was prepared for, technology appears to be a shadow cast over everything, but seldom named. It’s as if the web 2.0 technological (and societal) innovations have become so ingrained that they are non-controversial. In general, practitioners have accepted the premises and promises of tools like social networks, social media (like blogs and wikis), ‘wisdom of the crowd’ techniques and crowdsourcing, and streaming technologies (like Twitter). As a result, with the exception of where there are powerful barriers to specific technologies, the underlying rationale for these tools often was treated as a given, which is perhaps the most compelling finding of the study.

We are consolidating our findings now, in June 2009, and will be presenting them at the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 conference at the end of the month. Our thoughts, observations, and recommendations will be distributed at the conference in this summary report, and later in the summer a longer version will be made available.

As the year progressed, Oliver and I became convinced that we needed to balance the work we have done thus far in 2009—which has been primarily one-on-one interviews with thought leaders, and case study analysis of innovative companies—with something more broad-based and quantitative. Therefore, in the fall, Oliver and I will develop a survey to determine what the greater community are up to. Once this is analyzed, we will release a second report including the insights that the survey yields. About that, more to follow.

[Note: I am experimenting with Solidspace as a platform for blogging things like this, and may in fact rehost /Message there in the upcoming months.]



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