Am currently sitting at the Future Exploration Network Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum 2009. Am hoping to jot down a few notes as go through the day, so stay tuned for further updates.
FEN chief Ross Dawson kicked the event of with a sec of stats that talked about global trends in enterprise Web 2.0, pointing out the ongoing uptake by large businesses of web 2.0 tools such as blogs and social networks. The reasoning was attributed to managing knowledge, fostering collaboration and enhancing company culture.
The first session consisted of a series of case studies, starting with Peta Hopkins from Bond University. Hopkins had a lot to say about how web 2.0 technologies were improving life for students and staff at the university, including blogs, social media tools, RSS feeds and wikis. Hopkins message was that people will tend towards using these tools where they make their lives easier, and will go outside of internal IT processes to get them.
The second speaker was Chris Lampard from office supplies company Corporate Express, who spoke about the rapid growth of his organisation had led to a slightly dis-functional IT environment with multiple applications and a lack of integration.His organisation has been using web 2.0 to bring its different parts together, with a path that is intended to make it easier to do business, delivering the right information to the right device. The long term goal is then to extend that out to customers and suppliers.
Third up was Nathan Wallace from Janssen-Cilag, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The company has created websites and even used YouTube for building links to the communities that it serves, with the main lesson was to be open, transparent and honest. The company's internal wiki has also been highly successful as an information sharing tool, with 75 percent of staff posting, and has evolved from an announcement-oriented site to one that captures the flow of ideas within the organisation. The goal was to generate more conversations and more collaboration, which led to the adoption of a microblogging solution, Jitter. He hasn't been thrilled with the uptake, with only 18 percent of staff using it. He attributes the slow uptake to a low level of technical knowledge amongst workers, along with poor understanding of the business value. His lessons were that individuals deserve more focus than the tools and processes. Make it as easy-to-use as possible, with no training required, and keep it flexible. And he says it is always better than respond to needs rather than create demand.
The final speaker of the session was Peter Williams from Deloitte, who opened by talking about how he used self-organising web tools to organise the community of Flowerdale which was destroyed in the recent Victorian bushfires. Peter spoke about the way his organisation has embraced social media, as a means of helping drive innovation, as well as an internal web-based campaign to get staff to talk about the dumbest things the organisation does. He agreed that making things easy and simple reduced the need for training. He also spoke about how people will bypass corporate policy to use the services they want to reach, and talked about the need to let staff use these tools the way they want to.