Study Points to Enterprise 2.0 Perplexity

Despite steady growth forecasted for Enterprise 2.0, recent research by content management association AIIM demonstrates that organizations are unclear of exactly how to make the best of the Enterprise 2.0 market. AIIM, the global community for users and suppliers of enterprise content management, released its Q1 report, "Enterprise 2.0: Agile, Emergent, and Intelligent," discussing the growth, challenges, and trends surrounding Enterprise 2.0. The study points out that 74 percent of organizations claim to have, at best, a "vague familiarity" of Enterprise 2.0.

"Although Enterprise 2.0 has now become a recognizable term, few people can succinctly describe what it is," write authors Carl Frappaolo, AIIM Market Intelligence vice president and Dan Keldsen, AIIM director. "When we asked our survey respondents to select the definition that most closely matched their own from a list of popular versions, no single answer won a clear majority."

AIIM, which recently introduced an Enterprise 2.0 training program, defines Enterprise 2.0 as: "A system of Web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence, and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise." Frappaolo notes that despite a bit of confusion surrounding early adoption of social networking, there's an apparent shift from what Enterprise 2.0 is toward how to use it. He points to the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston as an example of the shift in the market attention. Sessions and presentations are shifting from the actual technology to how to apply Enterprise 2.0 to business practices.

Despite the shift, Frappaolo says that it truly is in the early-adoption phase. "There's more marketing noise than reality right now," Frappaolo says. In fact, out of the 74 percent of organizations that reported having only a vague understanding of Enterprise 2.0, 41 percent said they had "no clear understanding" at all.

Respondents seem to agree on the goals for Enterprise 2.0, despite not really knowing how to deliver them. Sixty-nine percent of respondents say they wish to use Enterprise 2.0 to increase collaboration. However, they are not clear on which business processes to enhance collaboration. "While Enterprise 2.0 is viewed as universally appealing to many groups, it is not seen as particularly aligned to any specific business processes," the report states. "When asked to rank the likelihood of Enterprise 2.0 being utilized by specific business processes, survey respondents did not rank a single application higher than 30 percent as highly likely."

It's obvious that CRM vendors and distributors are taking Enterprise 2.0 efforts under increased consideration, according to Rachel Happe, research manager at IDC and author of a 2008 Enterprise 2.0 growth forecast report. Although vendors now realize the potential, perhaps end-users can't clearly see the benefits--especially since best practices and ROIs are foggy. Despite this uncertainty, Happe's report shows Enterprise 2.0 as having a 191 percent growth over the past year. Frappaolo says that he thinks that the overwhelming lack of understanding for Enterprise 2.0 will soon change as education heightens and best practices emerge. The AIIM report features a chart denoting Enterprise 2.0 goals with specific business practices. Nearly half of respondents said they were likely or highly likely to start integrating Enterprise 2.0 capabilities with CRM applications.

Frappaolo points out that use is at an ad hoc basis, which is not entirely bad way to start. "It's a good thing because it will allow the market to grow and gets people involved, with very few barriers," he says. "But if it's stalled here, it's not going to grow. Education is needed. People need to take what they are doing, look at it, and say if this is what we can achieve with putting our foot in the water, what's going to happen when we get an education and look at business processes like CRM, where there is value deploying functionality."

Related articles:

Social Networks' Steadfast Growth
Gartner and IDC reports show Enterprise 2.0 interconnectedness is becoming an increasingly valuable resource.

Web 2.0 Will Get Big Enterprise Bucks
The market for social business technology will grow to $4.6 billion by 2013, but the big players may not be those we know today, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Web 2.0: The Wrap-Up Edition
Web 2.0 Expo '08: Mashups and meshes and dashboards -- oh, my!

4 Steps to Winning Over the Community
Web 2.0 Expo '08: With interest in Enterprise 2.0 at an all-time high, it's time to get the people behind you.

Keeping the Web Trendy
Web 2.0 Expo '08: Aiming to innovate is always in season.

Does Enterprise 2.0 Have Traction?
New research shows about two-thirds of businesses are using the latest tools, but there are questions over the extent of penetration.

Social Networking Continues to Permeate Customer Service Solutions
The expanded partnership between eVergance and Jive Software underscores a growing need to provide tools enabling online consumer forums.

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