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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Websense. 2009. Enabling Enterprise 2.0.
- Ross Dawson. 2009. Implementing Enterprise 2.0.
- Colin White. 2008. The Importance of Enterprise 2.0.