Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Enterprise 2.0 is going mainstream

It was a year ago, at the Online Information exhibition, that it first occurred to me that a combination of blogs, wikis, search, social bookmarking and RSS within an organisation could create a new and viable approach to knowledge management - KM 2.0, if you like. I've just been to this year's event, not least to see how much prominence is being given to Web 2.0 and the rest of it. There's a whole conference stream this year devoted to the subject. Knowledgeable folk like Euan Semple and Lee Bryant of Headshift, as well as the legendary Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia were down to speak at that.

Being a cheapskate I didn't pay to attend the conference but instead headed for the free seminars in the exhibition hall. I failed to get into the first two sessions - both on the subject of RSS - because they were full. A lesson there, and a clue: this subject is now very popular. The third session, with Crispin O'Brien, Chairman of KPMG's Technology Group, I did get into, by being much earlier.

Crispin was clearly an enthusiast for Enterprise 2.0, and argued strongly for the benefits. He quoted some impressive statistics from a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey that indicated very strong support for Enterprise 2.0 concepts among mid-level executives. Refreshingly, for an evangelist, he also saw clearly how high the barriers are, especially in highly-regulated industries. He reminded us that, as a partner, his liability is unlimited, and that he was a little nervous of the idea of employees saying what they like in print, without regard to defamation or intellectual property laws.

Enterprise 2.0 seems to be turning into an oxymoron: it's a sort of 'inevitable impossibility' ;-)

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