Monday, December 25, 2006


Something To Look Forward To In 2007

After years in the enterprise software space, I am still amazed by the excitement generated around the "possibilities" of new technologies (look at Gartner's ongoing hype cycles), with less initial focus on exactly where can the technology solve a really difficult problem. In regard to Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0, I am not convinced that for many companies, wikis and blogs will not solve email proliferation, storage, or content management problems. Large companies typically have email 'policies' that are intended to solve this problem (I worked with an email trainer from a large company once and she explained exactly how it is was supposed to work in her company - pretty scary stuff). People largely ignore these and continue to spray emails all over the place.

At some point, most companies will have 'wiki policies' and 'blog policies' and these will likely be ignored as well. The new technology will not change the balance of authority in companies any more than email did (or faxes did before them, or memo before them, etc.). In the same way that email speeded up written communications, wikis and blogs afford the same evolution in speed and reach of communication.

Personally, like many new technologies, I think that in the short-term, there will be misuse and general unfounded over-enthusiasm for these technologies. When folks realize it ain't going to change the balance of power, and 'won't solve every communication problem they have,' they will identify where they can foster productivity and really solve a problem.

I think that it will be fascinating, follow the cultural and commercial interactions that will impact the adoption of E2.0 and see where the sweet spot really is for their use in the corporate world. As 2006 becomes 2007, I think we may be in for a few surprises in the coming year, and that is certainly something to look forward to!

Happy holidays to all.

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