Enterprise 2.0 – CIOs & Measurement

Two interesting reports from Forrester and IDC speak about
Enterprise 2.0 benefits measurement and the role of CIOs and their
organization. The Forrester report says :

Much of the value of a Web 2.0 deployment is incremental
and “soft” in nature, and as a result, clear business value measurement
remains elusive. Despite this challenge, the 275 IT decision-makers
that Forrester recently surveyed indicated that not all Web 2.0 is
created equal. Among current users, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and
podcasting show the highest average business value, while social
networking and blogging show the lowest. We do find, however, that
those firms with the largest number of tools deployed see the best
value, although no “killer combination” of tools has emerged. In
addition, most firms continue to use traditional value measurement
techniques like ROI and total cost of ownership (TCO) when evaluating
Web 2.0 deployments. For tech marketers, this means a dual challenge of
accommodating clients’ corporate value measurement expectations while
helping them onto the right track for incremental and softer value
realization from the onset.

The IDC survey asked “What percentage of the Web 2.0 tools you use for business are managed by your corporate IT department?

25% percent answered None (0%). Another 30%
indicated that up to 39% were managed by corporate IT. For the entire
sample of respondents, the weighted average for the percentage of Web
2.0 tools managed by corporate IT was only 32.8%. In other words, over
68% of the Web 2.0 tools used for business purposes in our sample are
NOT being managed corporate IT. This percentage was not much different
when we looked only at small or medium or large enterprises. Nor did
the responses from business executives differ markedly from the IT
executives we surveyed.

Both the findings suggest that there are are two major challenges (
among a host of others ) to be overcome before social software becomes
mainstream in enterprises :

  • To educate enterprises that traditional measurement techniques may
    not necessarily hold good in the Enterprise 2.0 context. There is a
    need for a” leap of faith” from senior executives. As the initiative
    progresses, anecdotes are a great way to gauge benefits. This snippet from a recent article in
    InformationWeek summarizes this well : “Still, Enterprise 2.0
    technologies don’t exactly make for easy ROI calculations, which
    Redshaw readily admits. Instead, he chats up how exactly work has
    changed since Motorola has implemented Intranet 2.0. Inside the IT
    organization, product development times have shortened considerably.
    Instead of developing a different pitch for every client, salespeople
    can now reuse information that might be posted on a wiki. And in
    Motorola’s Dallas distribution center, employees clicking on mobile
    alerts that come to their smart phones are sent directly to a wiki to
    troubleshoot problems, rather than being left scratching their heads
    over some problem.”
  • The CIOs organization seems to be a
    bottleneck in many cases trying to maintain status quo whereas business
    units are adopting these tools faster. Sooner or later there has to be
    more synergy for any large scale adoption of social software to happen.
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