Activating Enterprise 2.0 – Benefits & Risks

15 Aug

Whether people like it or not, Web 2.0 technologies are profoundly changing the way we work and interact in various enterprises. User-generated web content, blogs, Wikis, Facebook, RSS feeds and other social networking sites are rapidly creeping into organizations, offering user new way to collaborate and communicate. While there can be enormous business benefits to leverage Web 2.0 applications, it also introduces unprecedented levels of security risks (Enabling Enterprise 2.0 2009). This may present enterprises or organizations with a dilemma: how to embrace the benefits of Web 2.0 while assuring that their enterprises remain safe from outside threats and risks to sensitive business information.

Businessmen and IT professionals are willing to bring Web 2.0 applications into the enterprise and transitioning to an Enterprise 2.0 environments. However, they are both eager and cautious to do that, because any change is associated with benefits and risks.


On the positive side, user-generated networking applications and services can effectively link customers, suppliers, partners, and employees for fast and easy collaboration anywhere and anytime (Enabling Enterprise 2.0 2009). This kind of instant connectivity and flexibility can bring greater productivity, effective data sharing, visibility into business processes and ideally improved profitability. According to White (2008) other benefits of Enterprise 2.0 include:

  • Better information sharing and communication
  • Faster and easier access to corporate information
  • Better quality and more accurate corporate information
  • Lower-cost application deployment models


  1. Security – The new network environment is no longer a building with walls and network cables, and securing it is becoming as difficult as defining it. Users now demand access from anywhere, using laptops and smart phones to access corporate information.
  2. Productivity – Internal or external social networking may cost a lot of time to be implemented by staff. As a consequence, business outcomes can be ignored (Implementing Enterprise 2.0 2009).
  3. Reputation – Many web pages and sites can no longer be classified as simply good or bad, reputation is becoming less reliable as a sole indicator of threat potential (Enabling Enterprise 2.0 2009).

Enterprises are still exploring the best uses of Web 2.0. Corporate sales and marketing departments have taken the lead, using social applications to enhance customer relationships, attract new audiences, and heighten brand awareness. For example, Ford Motor Company has a Facebook page where enthusiasts and potential buyers trade information on new models. And BMW, which initially marketed short films on its Web site, now has thousands of videos on YouTube. Furthermore, another successful example is “Dove Real Beauty” campaign. The company used traditional marketing such as print ads and billboards alongside Web 2.0 methods such as a dedicated, interactive Web site; blogs by experts; and user-generated content in discussion forums. In addition, Dell offers a community network that provides forums, idea centers, and blogs and feeds that keep their visitors informed, as well as provides opportunities to learn, participate, and collaborate.

Here is an interesting video about “Who needs a freaking Enterprise 2.0 strategy anyway”. It may give you some ideas about benefits and risks of Enterprise 2.0.  Please have a look.




Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Enterprise 2.0, Weekly Post


10 responses to “Activating Enterprise 2.0 – Benefits & Risks

  1. Gavin Jones

    August 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    “Who needs a freaking enterprise 2.0 strategy anyway?”… love it!!

    They said the same thing about email… so true!

    • bianyang

      August 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      That is it, Gavin.
      I think that people have to understand why they should be care about the enterprise 2.0.
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Amiel

    August 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    That’s an awesome quote by Hans Classen. Wiki is definitely a useful tool as it enables people to collaborate and share their insights on a single document. As a result, the value of the document will increase dramatically as more people contribute to it. I would also like to add that productivity could also be a benefit, as it would allow employees within the organization to share their information.

    • bianyang

      August 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks, Amiel.
      Wiki is just one of useful web 2.0 tools for enterprise to active the collaboration. There are also some other web-based applications including Facebook, Blogs and Ning. It becomes clear that all of these kinds of applicaiton can create many benefits for organizations. Consequently, it makes communications efficiently and effectively.
      Thanks for commenting.

  3. hao2010

    August 22, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Hi Yang, you are right, the security is main risk for Enterprise 2.0. Because some of them make a business purpose in the E2. If the hacking breaks them i think it will lost so much.

    • bianyang

      August 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Correct, Hao.
      Recently, I have read a article named “Is Google Reading My Email?”. It may reveal that sometimes the security issues not only come from the outside parties, but also are from internal digital environment.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Geng Gao

    August 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

    IT professionals really eager to bring Web 2.0 applications into the enterprise and transitioning to an Enterprise 2.0 environments but risk is a aspect they need to consider.

    • bianyang

      August 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Yes, Gao.
      I think the problem is all about how to active the Web 2.0 tools in oragnizations. Both benefits and risks exist at the same time.

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. Xin Zhao

    August 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I believe that more risks appear because of IT development. But,in the positive side, there are more opportunities and new technologies are enhanced in the same time. Problems and solutions always exist in the meantime.^_^

    • bianyang

      August 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Great point, Zhao.
      Web based applicaitons really provide more opportunities for IT professionals to develop digital envrionments.
      Thanks for commenting.


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