The debate around Web 2.0 Vs Enterprise 2.0 etc. is an interesting one. Ultimately though, these are tags for concepts. An interesting question is what does an Enterprise 2.0 actually look like. Can we describe explicitly the functions, features, capabilities, staff, management style etc. that all build together to make this the Enterprise of tomorrow and not today.The reality for Enterprises is that they need to work out how to rise to this challenge and meet the needs of staff who are demanding new and different ways of working, while still providing the seamless experience, security and control that they have traditionally required. Unfortunately Enterprises almost always exist as a point in time; a combination of old systems and old ways of doing things which conflict against the need to change to meet new challenges with limited time, budgets and often buy-in to new approaches.
For a thought experiment, lets envisage the impossible; a mature enterprise that has no baggage; that can instantly adapt it’s system; where staff adapt and change as technology and process demand — what would it look like? What would it be like to work and operate in Enterprise 2010 today — the Enterprise that we all believe we can deliver given a little bit more time? Can we build a vision that could be achievable today if the constraints were removed.
There is only one rule — the technology that makes Enterprise 2010 must exist today. Why? Because no real Enterprise can move that fast; it usually takes at least 2–5 years for consumer concepts to percolate inside the corporate firewall. If it isn’t very near to being in the market today, then there is a strong possibility that the Enterprise of 2010 wouldn’t even be considering it anyway. While I think removing constraints is important, I think this one rule helps keep us out of the realms of spacemen with little green suits into what could be done today with what we’ve got.This begs one other question — am I in fact really talking about Enterprise 2008; the mythical Enterprise which makes the best today of everything that is on offer?I’m going to let this topic sit for a day or two and hopefully elicit some comments from the usual suspects before I jump in with some of my visions on what this Enterprise would look like and what’s achievable.