Large, Established, and Enterprise 2.0 Ready?

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Nicholas Carr made an interesting post a few days ago about two studies of the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise. Nick contrasts reports by Forrester and McKinsey on CIO attitudes towards these tools. In particular, his last paragraph is worth quoting:

“The Forrester survey found a clear preference among CIOs for buying a full suite of Web 2.0 tools from a large, established vendor. 74% of CIOs said they’d be more interested in investing in Web 2.0 if all the tools were offered as a suite, and 71% said they’d prefer the tools to be ‘offered by a major incumbent vendor like Microsoft or IBM [rather than] smaller specialist firms like Socialtext, NewsGator, MindTouch, and others.'”

As a small company that services large companies and government ministries, quotes like that jump off the page at me. I don’t find the “major incumbent vendors” to be a hub of innovative software or business practices. I’ve witnessed the performance of the big IT firms with some of our larger clients and am staggered by the volumes of people, processes, and paperwork that get pushed around without accomplishing anything. Certainly there’s good, smart, well intentioned people working in these organizations, but their size appears to get the better of them. Then again, as they saying goes, no-one ever got fired for hiring .

So is this really more of a reflection of CIO’s playing it safe than it is in delivering innovation to the enterprise?
Morgan Goeller commented on Carr’s article:

“I find it very ironic that CIOs want to purchase their innovative, disruptive, distributed information tools from a single, monolithic vendor.”

Me too.

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  1. Martin Roulleaux Dugage

    Some companies (like mine) are just not innovative enough and had rather wait until their collaboration infrastructures (Lotus Notes and IBM quickplace here) become web 2.0 enabled. What I am fighting for, and so far did not completely succeed, is allowing our employees to introduce new collaboration tools in their department, business unit or community as experiments, the IT folks acting as advisors, so that they can eventually “industrialize” the solution into a pilot project and then as a corporate infrastructure if it actually works. I wonder if this model has been used with your clients.

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