Why many organisations will fail with Enterprise 2.0

Euan Semple pretty much hits the nail on the end with his post on why companies (organisations) will fail with their approach to Enterprise 2.0. The fundamental reason is they still don’t get it, and not helped by the hype from the big vendors (no names) who push the technology and ignore the culture. Euan lists 8 reasons for failure:

1. They think it is about technology.

2. They aren’t prepared to deal with the friction that allowing their staff to connect generates.

3. They will assimilate it into business as usual.

4. They will try to do it in a way that “maximizes business effectiveness” without realizing that it calls for a radical shift in what is seen as effective.

5. They will grind down their early adopters until they give up.

6. They will get fleeced by the IT industry for over engineered, under delivering solutions, think that Enterprise 2.0 failed to live up to its promise and move on to the next fad.

7. Lack of patience

8. It is not companies who do Enterprise 2.0 it is individuals.

I would add a 9th and 10th to the list based on my dealings with Gov:

9. It has to cost a lot to be of any value

10. One size must fit all

Point 9 is a reflection on the fact that I’ve offered Gov departments access to and use of the local government social networking and social media platform at little or no cost, but ‘Gov’ is determined to forge ahead with their own multi-million pound solution, which will take years to implement. I guess you could argue this is covered in Euan’s point 6, but the point I’m making is that an Enterprise 2.0 solution that costs so little to implement and use is perceived to have no value, and consequently is not given serious consideration by decision-makers.

Point 10 is the conditioned behaviour of many large organisations to harmonise and standardise, developing monolithic solutions to complex business requirements. Web 2.0 offers flexible and agile solutions that can easily be knitted together and (more importantly) changed and adapted to meet the needs of individual workers. Enforcing a one-size-fits-all solution will only encourage more of what is happening now – staff going off and finding their own solutions.

What does anybody else think?


  1. Cheryl Cooper said:

    I agree, Steve, especially with Point 10 which often leads to point 9 i.e. it must completely integrate with our current mega system; and the fear that free or cheap solutions are not “scale-able” or meet service level agreements.

    June 11, 2008
  2. Steve Dale said:


    thanks for the comment. On the issue of integration, I understand that the Gov’s ‘mega-E2-system’ has to integrate with the various flavours of staff directories held in different departments, AND gsi (global security). Right then, we should see something emerge in about 5 years’ time. We’ll all be doing something else by then!

    June 11, 2008

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