In the process of networking, I have become friendly with Andrew Filev of Wrike, the leading provider of on-demand project management software for small and midsize companies. Andrew liked the sample that I sent him from The Next Wave of Technologies a few months ago. In this interview, I discuss some of the differences between Enterprise 1.0 and 2.0 projects, collaboration, and other topics.
Here’s an excerpt:
Andrew: I see your point, and I also wanted to share my point of view on McAfee’s definition. As far as I remember, McAfee’s definition of Enterprise 2.0 focuses primarily on software systems. In my view, it’s also important to account for changes in organizational culture and practices that go hand-in-hand with the adoption of these tools. This is one of the most important aspects to consider when thinking of deploying new software. You’re a consultant, and your job in many cases is helping executives to see what and where they need to change. How would you identify the need for change in an organization? Let’s say there’s an organization where an Enterprise 1.0 system works quite well, and workers feel like they are happy with it. Do they still need to innovate?
Phil: The need for change fascinates me. At times, it’s completely apparent. At other times, it’s less clear. Let’s look at the first scenario.
In An Executive’s Guide to Information Technology: Principles, Business Models, and Terminology, Robert Plant and Stephen Murrell define a legacy system as one that can no longer meet an organization’s needs. I have seen many people very happy with their homegrown systems or legacy apps because, in their view, it works quite well and they like it. That’s a far cry from saying that it meets the needs of the business. It’s hard to argue that today a clunky 1980s app without adequate reporting, e-mail, etc. meets an organization’s needs.
Now, let’s look at a more contemporary system with a decent number of bells and whistles. Is the organization “set”? I’d argue that it’s hard to say. What if a SaaS-based or open source equivalent can meet the same business needs at a lower cost (both out of pocket to the vendor and in terms of employee salaries)? Isn’t the organization beholden to at least investigate what’s out there?
So, with respect to innovation, the answer is a qualified yes. Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies allow for so much innovation that I don’t see how you can say, “We’re set.” At the same time, though, innovation for the sake of innovation isn’t a great idea. It all comes down to whether the current apps and technologies can meet an organization’s needs.
To read the whole thing, click here.