Why Web 2.0 in the Enterprise?

I am really enjoying my current assignment. I am doing a research work entitled “Next Generation Knowledge Management with Web 2.0” where I investigate the benefits of adopting Enterprise 2.0 as a KM enabler. During the past few weeks I have been focusing on strictly analyze why Web 2.0 should be embraced by enterprises, and the following came up.

We know that Web 2.0 can provide great profits to companies. However, enterprises don’t have to embrace these solutions just because they are cool, just because they are on top of Gartner’s hype cycle peak of inflated expectations, or driven by a widely spread adoption in the current Web panorama. Companies do not work the same way the Internet community does, and a model that is working out there could miserably fail in the enterprise context. Therefore, companies should do a deep “soul search” in order to strictly analyze how an Enterprise 2.0 strategy should be incorporated into their organizations and find out in which business area the benefits of Web 2.0 can be fully harnessed. Thus, the best approach of embracing an Enterprise2.0 strategy is in the field of Knowledge Management, where one of the major benefits is that knowledge is open and globally visible to a wider scale. But while executives are always expecting big immediate wins and high returns after an investment, the benefits of this new strategy for Knowledge Management are usually continuous, linear build-up and almost never sudden and pronounced. This is driven by the fact that the ultimate objective of this strategy is improving the knowledge of employees, something that is hardly measurable but very valuable. Then, the effects of KM 2.0 should be measured by the direct impacts on the business outcomes (like business eficency or competitive advantage) and not by the ROI, which is more suitable for tangible assets. Having said all that, Enterprise 2.0 for Knowledge Management is not a question of “how to save money” but a question of “how to stop losing money”.

I am not the only one who think that Enterprise 2.0 and KM 2.0 are separate concepts, the first one being a enabler of the second.

Note: The quoted text is an intellecutal property of my company. Be careful if you want to reference it.

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