Enterprise 2.0 tools not delivering results

Article first published as Enterprise 2.0 not Delivering Results on Technorati.

poor IT investmentUse of social networking tools inside organisations has been a hot topic for the last few years.  New research suggests however that despite big investment in so called enterprise 2.0 technology, few of these investments are delivering results.

The research, conducted by the Altimeter Group, suggests that the root of the failure is that most organisations are not implementing the products correctly.

As with most community building efforts, the key start point is to define the purpose of the community you're looking to build.  This fundamental first step is missing in most enterprise 2.0 efforts according to the report. "What is the pain point? What is the problem you're trying to solve? If that's not clear, then you shouldn't be using [ESN]," said Altimeter founder and the study's lead author Charlene Li. "This isn't easy. There is no magic bullet to it. It requires a rethinking of the relationships inside your organization, and therefore a rethinking of your culture." In addition to a lack of purpose, many social business projects fail due to a lack of sustained interest, due in large part in a failure of senior managers to ensure that social media becomes a part of the company culture.

Equally damning is the finding that most organisations fail to measure the impact of their social business investment. This stems from the lack of clear purpose identified earlier, and if you don't know why you exist it's difficult to measure success.

The research has similar findings to recent research conducted by Information Week.  The research found that just 13% of professionals believe their social business investments have been a success.

The study found that many employees prefer using public tools such as Facebook or LinkedIn to the internal social networking tools offered by their employers.  

Here are 6 tips for making your social business efforts more effective.

  1. Define the purpose
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Make it easy to use
  4. Integrate with existing systems
  5. Make the benefits easy to see
  6. Ensure you have organisation wide buy in

If you would like to find out more about how enterprise 2.0 can help you, a free webinar is running next week to help you understand how social technologies can benefit your business.


Adi Gaskell is Head of Online at the Process Excellence Network.