John Dvorak hosts a weekly web show called Cranky Geeks that this week included a lively discussion around the merits of Enterprise 2.0. Panel guests were Sebastian Rupley from PCMagCast.com, Dan Goodin with The Register and tech journalist David Spark. The segment was pretty short but it quickly got to some of the key challenges facing Enterprise 2.0:
What is it?
What about security?
How can companies get employees to use it?
What is it? There's still a lot of confusion around how we define Enterprise 2.0. Having a succinct and definitive way to describe this to the non-believers is something we as an industry need to work on. Panelist David Spark (blogger extraordinaire from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference) went with "it's Web 2.0 in the enterprise" to introduce the topic to Dvorak and the other panelists. I think Web 2.0 in the enterprise is a bit limiting but it does mostly get the job done and pretty efficiently at that. Does anyone have a better way to describe Enterprise 2.0 in so few words?What about security? Panelist Dan Goodin noted the challenge of security, citing MySpace and Facebook as disastrous examples of not keeping sensitive information private. He said "I'm not sure this is what GM really wants to deploy... a bunch of buggy AJAX scripts that's going to expose their inner secrets." David Sparks also noted that security was not a big topic of conversation at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. So why is that? Are we paying enough attention to the potential threats, not only from greater business transparency but also from the increased use of the public web as a platform?How can companies get their employees to use it? While some cite security as a barrier to Enterprise 2.0, I think user adoption is our biggest hurdle. The panel talked about this quite a bit and Dvorak asked the question of whether we need so many new and different ways to communicate. Spark pointed out that employees are not satisfied with only using email. They want to use other tools and businesses need to make them available. Dvorak noted this as a problem with Enterprise 2.0 as users continually shift to the next popular tool. To this David countered with the importance of owning your data and having the ability to export it to other systems.For Enterprise 2.0 to continue to grow and convert Dvorak and other skeptics, we need to be able to point to more great examples of how businesses are overcoming security and user adoption challenges. We also need to be able to succinctly describe what it is. As someone living Enterprise 2.0 daily, the Dvorak show reminds me that the vast majority of people in business are just now being exposed to Enterprise 2.0 or have no idea what we're talking about.