Office 2.0 Unconference, pt. 2 – Getting Web 2.0 into the Enterprise, The Productivity Question

Went to a couple more sessions in the afternoon at the Office 2.0 unconference. The first was tackling issues around getting 2.0 solutions inside the enterprise – challenges and opportunities. There were interesting angles on this question and the discussion ambled in true unconference style. Some good points around having an approach for seamless transition to ease end-user adoption. The basic approach that many 2.0 companies seem to be taking is betting on the freemium model and momentum from consumer use on personal time to generate leads, and then bet on rogue uses within a company leading to larger-scale adoption.

The second session was run a little more formally for an unconference, in more of a moderated style, and discussed whether there is an actual end-user productivity gain with many 2.0 tools, and how measurable that gain is. Net net: sure there is a gain, it’s hard to measure, and you just need to jump in the pool. (?)

I still feel like there is not a good enough story around many of these solutions to woo us enterprisey folk. The IT-created barriers that everyone likes to complain about in some cases are cruft but are often driven by compliance concerns and larger architectural forces such as validation, quality systems, and traceability. Hitting it big on Facebook is a bit different that hitting it big inside the walls.

Having said that, I think I missed a good session by Ross Mayfield of Socialtext in the morning on Catalytics (check out his slides) – how to introduce change into an organization. I had a great side conversation with Ross… he has the vibe of a visionary and a good sell story behind his company, but he seems to get some of the key enterprise issues. Plus he was wearing a cool shirt!

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