Blogging was where we began, and how we built our company so we have preserved this archive to show how our thinking developed over a decade of developing the use of social technology inside organisations

Researching Enterprise 2.0 in the EU

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Enterprise 2.0 tools, platforms and services have the potential tomake companies more agile and competitive, reducing IT costs whilsthumanising business processes and structures. They represent animportant shift in the way that people in organisations work. Insteadof centralised, one-size-fits-all applications that emphasise processover people, enterprise 2.0 gives people the ability to collaborateflexibly around information and knowledge using simple tools thatsupport the informal processes that are part of any healthyorganisation.

We have always been very interestedin how this change plays out in markets outside the United States,where it began. Europe has a vibrant network of practitioners, softwareand services firms working in this emerging field. Many large and smallEuropean enterprises are already using enterprise 2.0 platforms, and insome cases they are already seeing measurable benefits. The questionis, where is this field headed in Europe and how can policymakers helpmaximise its impact on European competitiveness?

Working with Tech4i2 and IDC,we are currently involved in an exciting research project for theEuropean Commission that is attempting to build a picture of the marketin Europe and will consider the impact of enterprise 2.0 on Europeancompetitiveness, as well as understanding some of the policyimplications. This research will look at enterprise 2.0 in the round:the EU market for software and services; the way companies are usingenterprise 2.0; the macro economic impact of enterprise 2.0; the effectof broadband infrastructure on adoption; the effect of legal barriersand uncertainties on adoption and finally the way in which the EuropeanCommission can help EU countries and companies make the most ofenterprise 2.0.

Our contribution to this research is to look at both how companiesthroughout the EU are using enterprise 2.0 and the legal aspects ofthis use. The first, and biggest, part of this research is a set ofcase studies: in-depth accounts of how individual companies are usingenterprise 2.0 tools to work in a more innovative, effective orefficient fashion. We’re in the process of putting together a long listof case study candidates, but we don’t want to limit this research onlyto our immediate network and projects we know about – we want to castour nets wide and talk to people we’ve never met, people who perhapsare using enterprise 2.0 tools in ways we’d never thought of.

If you’re interested in suggesting (or being) a case study – raisingthe profile, internally and externally, of what you’re doing – or youknow someone else who might be, talk to us in the comments or drop usan email at e20eu@headshift.com. We’d love to hear from you. If you want to keep track of our research, you can follow our project blog; watch #e20eu on Twitter or follow links we’re digging up at http://www.delicious.com/tags/e20eu.

2 Responses to Researching Enterprise 2.0 in the EU

  1. By Anne Marie McEwan on September 20, 2010 at 4:59 am

    I had a quick look at the interim report and, understandably since it is interim, the annexes and references are absent.
    I would like to know how far you are referencing existing EU-financed research, funded over many years. One of the things that really frustrates me about the Enterprise 2.0 movement, in general, is the insistence on novelty and re-inventing of wheels.
    Murray and Shah, in ‘Nurturing Blue IQ: Enterprise 2.0 Adoption in IBM’ conclude:
    “Enterprise 2.0 adoption involves organisational transformation along multiple vectors beyond technology: culture, operational processes and business strategy.”
    There is more EU-funded research on these topics, assembled around new ways of working, including distributed, mobile working and collaboration, than you can shake a stick at. I have been involved in some of this research and remain close to http://www.ukwon.net, a network with members who have been deeply involved in producing much of this research.
    It seems to me that researching Enterprise 2.0 in the EU needs to draw on these roots. Enterprise2.0 is only the next iteration with a fancy new name for research into new ways of working. The cultural and behavioural dimensions of process innovation, mobility, collaboration and making the transition the transition to new ways are already well-researched.
    I am assuming you already know this. I am looking forward to see how this existing research informs your current work.
    Anne Marie McEwan
    The Smart Work Company

  2. By Mike Thompson on September 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Hi Anne, thanks for commenting.
    I agree with you that discussion of enterprise 2.0 can be too technology-centric. Personally, I’m interested in understanding, supporting and improving work and enterprise 2.0 tools, or whatever you want to call them, are a necessary part of that practice.
    In our research we did indeed draw on existing research into things such as IT innovation adoption, organisational change and technology acceptance. I can’t say how much of it was EU-funded as this was not a factor in what research we chose to draw on. I’ll email you a copy of the references.