Enterprise 2.0: Do Companies Need It to Survive?

Minor Web 2. 0/3. 0 & Knowledge Sharing Essay 2: Enterprise 2. 0. Do companies need it to survive? Z22-D Project Management Business English Smilena Spasova Lecturer: M. Adams 09-03-2012 Surviving as a company, no matter being small, middle-sized or large, in today’s unstable economy beset by a severe recession, instability and uncertainty resembles fighting for your life in a battle field. Only those who are more prepared, move faster and more efficient and have strategic advantage over their enemies are the ones who get to keep their lives. Enterprise 2. is what is needed for companies to gain and master those skills. It helps them structure and preserve corporate knowledge, cut costs, increase efficiency, enlarge employees and customers’ satisfaction and tap into new sources of innovation and expertise. Combined together, therefore the benefits of using Enterprise 2. 0 are exactly what companies need not only to survive, but also to have a lasting advantage over their competitors. Enterprise 2. 0 is a term that was first defined by Andrew McAfee 1 in 2006 as a description of how companies use the existing Web 2. technologies within their internal and external set of techniques to conduct their business. In other words, it is a combination between the integration of Web 2. 0 tools and architecture within enterprises’ structures and processes with a careful consideration of the human element – the culture. Examples for such tools are Blogs, Wikis, Intranet, Discussion Boards, Social Media Platforms, RSS feeds and many more which main goal is to provide users with open space for communication, collaboration, asset sharing, personalization and aggregation. One of the main advantages that Enterprise 2. gives to companies is in relation to Knowledge Management. In 1991 Ikujiro Nonaka 2 said: “In an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty, the only sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge. ”Companies acknowledge that statement today better than they have ever done before. Unfortunately in a lot of cases efforts, money and resources are wasted in the wrong direction when enterprises try to find the right way to capture, leverage and store collective knowledge. One of the reasons for that is that they don’t use the proper tools to achieve that goal.

Enterprise 2. 0 however proposes the solution. For example, by simply incorporating Wikis into the company’s daily workflow, all of a sudden employees will have the chance to take part in building a collective memory by expressing and contributing with their tacit knowledge. The difference compared to the “old-school” Knowledge Management techniques is that by using the new Enterprise 2. 0’s way knowledge can be stored, edited and corrected but it can’t be lost because it has already been made explicit by sharing on the Wiki.

So, even if an employee retires or decides to quit the company, information doesn’t go with him by having existed only in his head. Another benefit of using Enterprise 2. 0 is that it cuts costs drastically. Whereas In the era of Web 1. 0 Marketing efforts required an enormous amount of money, today most of the Web 2. 0 applications are free and reside in the cloud. Consequently, all the resources should be spent in time and effort to invent the right strategy, rather than to negotiate prices with traditional media representatives.

What is more, the emerge of Social Media and platforms like Get Satisfaction3 gives a totally new perspective on the Customer Service practices within companies and the included expenses. Due to Enterprise 2. 0 employees can now have a live chat with customers rather than using the “old” methods like traditional telephone or e-mail. Bringing faster solution and demonstrating personal attitude and attention is therefore increasing consumer satisfaction and this way contributing to the company’s positive image. Enterprise 2. also helps companies work more efficient. If for example, employees are enabled to use the RSS feeds feature they need to spend only 10 minutes per day for staying up-to-date with all the new and relative topics, instead of receiving 100 distracting emails or having to browse randomly through the intranet “News” section which demands way too much time. The RSS feeds also enable structured and relevant information which can be customized and corrected on a daily basis. What is more, increased 1 2 3 http://nonwork. andrewmcafee. rg/ http://www. economist. com/node/13517582 http://getsatisfaction. com/explore/customer-support efficiency can be observed when due to easy collaboration, sharing and data transferring by means of a Web 2. 0 platform employees tend to deliver their projects faster. As a result, because of the psychological aspect of Enterprise 2. 0, a. k. a the human element, employees’ satisfaction level can significantly increase. Working more efficiently makes people feel that they are contributing to the company in a positive way.

Taking part in a platform where employees can add, edit and discuss content will make them feel significant and belonging to a community that shares a common goal. A virtual reality where it doesn’t matter what position within the company the user possesses in order to express an opinion or share an idea, can lead to lower Power Distance Authority4. Small steps incorporated via Enterprise 2. 0 strategy can lead to great transformations in employees’ attitude towards their employers.

And a company with a high dissatisfaction level of its staff can never survive in the course of time. Last but not least Enterprise 2. 0 is the best solution for discovering and implementing new ways of innovation and expertise. “A difficult economic environment argues for the need to innovate more, not to pull back. ” – says Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express. Having carefully chosen combination of all the right Web 2. 0 tools to suit the company’s needs is however an innovation itself. Enterprise 2. is a way to transform closed, authority driven working atmospheres into a collaborative environment driven by employees’ intrinsic motivation, needs for belonging and self-actualization. A company that can be characterized by those terms therefore has already established the basic platform for open innovation. For example, a simple, random and not so clear idea shared by an employee on the Internal Social Media platform, can very quickly, easily and naturally transform into a feasible and actually very smart and realistic one.

This idea though wouldn’t have come to live if the person didn’t have the motivation or the possibility to share it. That is why companies need to consider Enterprise 2. 0 in their workflows – enabling space for new topics, discussion and collaboration to emerge. Without innovating both internally and externally and upgrading expertise in such a transitional and constantly developing environment, businesses are just doomed to go down. In conclusion, Enterprise 2. 0 is no longer just an advantage for companies who implement it into their activities, on the contrary – it’s a necessity for survival.

Only the businesses who know how to correctly manage their collective knowledge and preserve it, conduct their processes with greatest efficiency and lowest cost possible, keep their employees satisfied and spend their resources for constant development in their daily workflow as well as products will keep on existing. And in order to achieve those results and therefore survive, companies need to integrate Enterprise 2. 0 into their management and communication techniques both internally – with their employees – and externally – with their customers and business partners. 4 ttp://www. investopedia. com/terms/p/power-distance-index-pdi. asp#axzz1oXVBCP5S Number of words: 1156 References Wiki Service (Spring 2006). Enterprise 2. 0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration. Referenced on 8 March 2012, at: http://www. wikiservice. at/upload/ChristopheDucamp/McAfeeEntrepriseDeux. pdf Slide Share (12 March 2010). Enterprise 2. 0: Knowledge Management – People at the Center. Referenced on 8 March 2012, at: http://www. slideshare. net/TSystemsMMS/enterprise-20-knowledgemanagement-people-at-the-center Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (13 June 2011).

Video – enterprise 2. 0: where does the value lie? Referenced on 8 March 2012, at: http://www. cimaglobal. com/Events-and-cpdcourses/Events/Enterprise-Web-20-event/Videos-1/ Spigit (unknown). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Enterprise 2. 0 ROI. Referenced at 8 March 2012, at: http://www. spigit. com/spigit-blog/maslow%E2%80%99s-hierarchy-of-enterprise-2-0-roi Investopedia (unknown). Power-Distance Index – PDI. Referenced on 8 March 2012, at: http://www. investopedia. com/terms/p/power-distance-index-pdi. asp#axzz1oXVBCP5

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