Critical Success Factors in Enterprise 2.0: The Importance of Business Performance

Critical Success Factors in Enterprise 2.0: The Importance of Business Performance

Ana Silva (Porto Business School, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4373-4.ch013
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While evangelists and enthusiasts of Enterprise 2.0 praise the benefits of the use of social software in the workplace, the sceptics are not that convinced and some draw attention to the failures of the Knowledge Management concept and tools that were trendy some years ago. In parallel, board members and top management question the true business benefits of Enterprise 2.0 and demand proof of the potential business value prior to giving a green light to this type of investment. If it is true that some of the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 are intangible and therefore harder to measure, the impact on business performance should be observable and consequently measurable. This chapter reflects on the importance of addressing the topic of business performance when it comes to social software in the enterprise. It also discusses the importance of integrating social software into the flow of work in order to drive adoption and sustained use.
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Enterprise 2.0: Current Challenges

Andrew McAfee (2009) wrote in his Enterprise 2.0 book about one of the big shifts witnessed from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 which was “the realization that software could be social – that in addition to making individuals more productive and automating away their roles in a process, software could and should be used to let people find one another and form communities” (p. 139).

Several years before, in the spring of 2006, the same McAfee published in the MIT Sloan Management Review magazine an article entitled Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration. The article, taking on the example of the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) to reflect on the use of Web 2.0 tools inside organizations, is generally viewed as the text that coined the Enterprise 2.0 expression. And it opened up with a question: “Do we finally have the right technologies for knowledge work?” (McAfee, 2006, p. 21). That article is said to be one of the first case studies that shows how the use of software—in the particular form of social software—could help an organization work and share knowledge in a more efficient and human way.

Several years have passed now but the concept, its frontiers, advantages and challenges are still being discussed and researched, as more and more companies use the so-called social tools internally and report their experience and results.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Software: Software inspired by the functionalities of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, microblogging, social networks, and others.

Adoption: Use of social software, whether by simply registering/creating an account (less participatory) or by actively participating through comment, discussing, etc.

Social Business: A company that embeds social tools and practices both internally (employee-oriented) and externally (oriented to other stakeholders such as customers or other business partners) with an integrated approach.

Enterprise 2.0: Deployment of Web 2.0-style tools and practices inside organizations with the purpose of fostering collaboration and collective intelligence (employee-oriented).

Collective Intelligence: Shared knowledge jointly constructed by a group of people through their collaboration and interactions.

Social CRM: The embedding of social tools and practices into the process of Customer Relationship Management with the purpose of better serving and understanding the market.

Knowledge Management: The concept of capturing, retaining, and managing organizational knowledge, either tacit or explicit, with the purpose of guaranteeing that it can be kept and reused.

Business Processes: Set of activities and tasks associated with the completion of a certain output, be it a project or a product.

Business performance: Balance of the outcomes of a company in key areas, usually associated with business processes, against the goals initially defined.

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