What is “Enterprise2.0”?

Is anyone else struggling with this?

The term “Enterprise2.0” is being thrown with abandon just recently, with everyone from analysts through vendors to the print media starting to adopt the term.  Well what does it really mean?

I’ve done some searching to try to come up with a definition I can use with my customers, and these seem to be the most coherent:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers. Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business School, May 27, 2006

Enterprise 2.0 is the synergy of a new set of technologies, development models and delivery methods that are used to develop business software and deliver it to users.
M.R. Rangaswami, Sand Hill Group, Sep 01, 2006

The paradigm-shift from content-focused architectures to user-centric models.  Web 2.0 and how its exploding consumer-oriented applications are relevant for the enterprise.

Nic Brisbourne, www.theequitykicker.com, Dec 21, 2006

However, all of these definitions are fairly vague, effectively just saying that it is the application of Web2.0 in the corporate environment.   Not terribly useful when talking to customers.

That’s why this quote from an IBM presentation I attended last week stood out:

Enterprise2.0 is…

A de-formalization of the workplace

        which harvests collective intelligence & the wisdom of crowds

by encouraging adoption through personal value,

connecting people to ideas, communities, work, and other people, across physical and organizational boundaries

            and uncovering tacit knowledge, attitudes, and actions.

I think this definition (delivered by Brendan Tutt) really specifies what Enterprise2.0 will mean for both organisations as a whole, and for their end users.  There is no doubt that this will spring up in just a few of my presentations in the future!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!