I am a knowledge manager, community builder and social computing evangelist at IBM. I work in a program within IBM Software Group to help accelerate the adoption of social software within the enterprise for all of the Sales workforce and, as an extension, for the entire of IBM. I am co-leading a community of over 400 Social Computing evangelists across IBM help bring forward some more awareness on the impact of Enterprise in the corporate world.
Initially, I got involved with Enterprise 2.0 back in 2002 when I was first getting exposed to blogging, both personal & corporate blogging, as a tremendous opportunity to offer knowledge workers with the possibility of having a voice on whatever the subject matter and share their passion with it. From there onwards, in 2003 I got started with my own corporate blog, behind the firewall, and from there onwards I became a social computing evangelist at IBM helping accelerate the rate of adoption of everything related to 2.0, not just with the social software tools, but also with the implications of the social aspects of the 2.0 movement.
My understanding is that Enterprise 2.0, just like Web 2.0 in the consumer space, has never been, and will never be, about the tools nor the processes, but about the people, and how they are now finally empowered to connect with other fellow knowledge workers to share their knowledge, collaborate and become much more innovative as a result of that. It is a changing game where productivity takes a new height and where interactions happen in a much more open, public and transparent space than anywhere else in the past, which surely shakes the ground within the corporate world, because everyone now is able to share that voice and their passion on whatever drives their day to day activities. To me Enterprise 2.0's core concept is changing the workplace to make it a better place where knowledge workers will have learned how they are no longer in control, they are part of a conversation that they need to nurture on a daily basis and that they now have got a much more important job in helping foster their trust skills with other knowledge workers to continue collaborating and sharing what they know in a much more open & responsible manner.
The main potential of the Enterprise 2.0 idea is something that I have touched on above briefly as well, which is capability to disrupt the traditional corporate space, bringing into the game concepts like corporate responsibility, ownership, accountability, trust, openness, flexibility in such a way that every single knowledge worker has got the opportunity to build further up on their passion for whatever the subject matter by reaching out, connecting and collaborating with other peers, in an environment where openness & transparency are key to help nurture a trustworthy environment where innovation is the main beneficiary. That's the potential that Enterprise 2.0 has been having all along. Nothing to do with the tools, nor the processes. Just the people
I think that the main challenges that the idea of Enterprise 2.0 face are actually the people themselves. The cultural aspects of changing people's behaviours and how they need to understand that the way they have been working all along may not have been the most productive because of that risk control, secrecy attitude. It will require a substantial amount of effort and energy to over this challenge, because to me it is the only one that is prohibiting for a wider adoption of Enterprise 2.0 within the corporate world. The tools are now incredibly easy to use, the IT infrastructure is as robust as it ever was (And if not, people would move outside of the firewall, something most companies would not be able to afford), the processes get a complete re-work where openness and trust play a key role. And, in the end, like I have said just before, the main challenge is the cultural shift and how willing knowledge workers would be to make it happen. People need to understand that they need to begin feeling comfortable of having a public voice inside of the enterprise where their voices are heard and where they are part of a conversation, a mutual conversation where everyone benefits from. That's our challenge to overcome.
Social Computing, Evangelist, Gran Canaria
Martin Koser, Germany Thomas Vander Wal, US Ed Yourdon, US Dennis Howlett, Spain (Bonus name! :D)