Enterprise 2.0: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

That almost sounds like a some sort of a western/sci-fi cross-over movie title don’t you think?  ENTERPRISE 2.0:  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  What happens when one organisation travels into the dark and unknowing world of social media?  What terrifying situations will they encounter along the way?  Are they prepared for what awaits them?  Will the tools that they have be enough to protect them from harm?  Will they make it out alive with their reputation in tact?  Find out next month when ENTERPRISE 2.0 comes to your workplace.

Alright, back to reality now.  So the big question is, what does the average company have to gain from throwing out their old procedures and techniques in favour of new shiny Web 2.0 tools?  Well people a lot smart than I am (always happy to give credit where credit is due) have determined that the main positives associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0 are; Knowledge, Reputation, Staff Engagement and Productivity and Efficiency (Ross Dawson, 2009).  So how can we translate these into something that we can relate to?

Knowledge:

So honestly, how many times have you come in to work to find one of your co-workers working away feverishly trying to solve a problem and the following conversation has followed:

YOU:  “Hey {insert name of frustrated co-worker here}, what’s the problem?”
THEM:  “Oh, I’ve just spent the past hour trying to figure out how to fix {insert technical problem here}.”
YOU:  “That’s easy, all you need to do is {insert blindingly obvious solution to their problem here}.
THEM:  *Look of utter disbelieve with mouth wide open*

Now, imagine if that really great piece of information was not just held captive in your skull, but was easily available to your fellow co-workers.  If your organisation made use of Web 2.0 technologies and made a wiki available so that staff could add important information so that everybody could access it easily, then you’d all do your jobs an awful lot better.  And not only that, when people left the organisation or moved within teams, their knowledge would not be lost, it would be stored forever in a place where it could benefit others.

The Motorola case study is an excellent example of how beneficial implementing Enterprise 2.0 can be for an organisation.

Productivity & Efficiency:

Ok, I’m going to draw on my post from last week for this one.  Remember me talking about how my organisation currently uses a manual logging system for all significant events?  Of course you do.  Well also remember how I mentioned how great it would be if we could instead use a blog to keep track of all these events?  Now depending on the length of the log entry, it is quite possible to assume that the amount of time required to actually make the entry could be comparable, BUT, the purpose of a log is to create a timeline of events that can be referred to in the future.  Making these references would be so much more efficient if I could simple type into a search engine “Brisbane internet outage” for example, and have every reference for this event magically appear in front of my eyes.  Productivity and efficiency win.  Nice.

However, despite all of the wonderful things that Enterprise 2.0 can potentially bring to a organisation, every rose has it’s thorns, and there are unfortunately a couple of risks as well.  These just so happen to be Security, Resources, Loss of Control, Reputation, Reliability and Productivity (Ross Dawson, 2009) <– Thanks again Ross.

Reputation

Gee whiz, if an organisation gets it wrong when it comes to Enterprise 2.0, they really get it wrong don’t they?  Who else remembers the Twitter storms that surrounded Qantas, McDonalds and Coles (just to name a few) a little while back?  The proverbial really hit the fan then didn’t it?  If you don’t quite remember, let me refresh your memory:

Qantas

McDonalds

Coles

Companies really have to be so careful when they are putting their reputation in the hands of anonymous Internet users.  However, in such cases where things do go terribly wrong, it is a great opportunity for an organisation to take the criticism they have received, and see what they can do about fixing the issues causing it.

Productivity

So you’ve got the potential to enhance staff productivity by implementing Enterprise 2.0, but you can also reduce it.  How so?  Well, a picture speaks a thousand words:

Yes, some staff, if you give them and inch, they will take a mile.  I remember when I was at my old job and management removed Solitaire from the computers because staff were wasting too much time playing games.  So imagine the impact that giving staff access to Twitter and chat rooms and blogs and social media could have.  However, a properly worded and adequately enforced social media policy could help keep this in check.

“A recent worldwide study of social networking in the workplace shows that 43% of employers surveyed said they are dealing with misuse of social networking sites by employees. The problem is made worse because organisations are increasingly turning to social media tools as part of their overall marketing strategy, so it has become difficult for many organisations to block social media access altogether. Many try to deal with employee productivity loss dues to social media at work by incorporating it into their AUP. While this should be the first step for all organisations, establishing policy and enforcing policy are two different issues.”  (Edgewave, 2012)

In my opinion, the potential gains to be achieved from implementing enterprise 2.0 far outweigh the possible problems that may be encountered.  It’s just a matter of being careful and making sure that adequate research is undertaken first.   Staff need to be given the chance to feel out the new technology and need to be made aware of what is acceptable and what is not and when lines are crossed, more often than not, other staff will bring the few rogues into line.

So in the interest of research:

References:

Edgewave: Employee Productivity. (2012)

A Collection of 50+ Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies and Examples

Sydney Morning Herald: Companies Face Up to Facebook Hits and Misses

ABC News: ‘McDialysis? I’m Loving it!’: McDonald’s Twitter Promo Fail

news.com.au : Coles Twitter Campaign Leads to Storm of Comments

ABC News: Qantas Twitter Hashtag Baacfires

Ross Dawson (2009)  Implementing Enterprise 2.0

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13 Responses to Enterprise 2.0: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  1. Great post,,
    I was thinking about how much a company can lose with the social media if the things go in the way that they don’t like, but totally I agree with you the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 are much greater than its risks, just companies should avoid mistakes..

    Cheers,
    Nawaf http://nawafqut.wordpress.com/

  2. andrewdcook says:

    Hi Candice, Nice work. I think you’re spot on with your final point about social networking/internet usage for employees as it really is essentially only a matter of “trust”. People really need to be given the freedom to use these utilities not only to see how it can benefit the company but as an opportunity to foster some kind of work/life balance. Which in turn can help create a better work environment 🙂

  3. It would be nice wouldn’t it if you could google “network outage ” and it would come up with results sorted by relevance and recency. It would have saved me a long call to the helpdesk today! It’s a good point you raised about adoption and self-regulation – wev’e seen how quickly people can adopt a new application if it really helps them (pinterest?), and we’ve seen how people help bring others into line when the bounds of good behaviour are breached (facebook discussions?). I like the farmville image used to explain the case against enterprise 2.0 because it reduces productivity 🙂

  4. e2karen says:

    I agree with you that the benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0 outweigh the risks. There are greater risks in not adopting Enterprise 2.0. I like the examples you quoted on McDonalds, Qantas and Coles. Things can get out of hand very quickly via social media. Organisations should carefully consider the information posted on social media to ensure that it will not be interpreted incorrectly and get out of hands. Keep up the great work!

  5. aureliequt says:

    Hi Candice,
    I agree with you when you say that the use of social media is an important risk for businesses since they can’t really control how customers will react. But here might be a few tips a company could use before entering the dangerous world of social media to prevent their followers from getting out of control:
    – Avoid repetitive tweets, no one likes being drowned in the flow of information
    – Get influential individuals to promote your campaign and show the right example
    – Don’t focus only on your company but try to engage your audience
    – Integrate your social media campaign with other existing digital campaigns

    Maybe you can think of some other tips?

    To prove that social media campaign can be efficient here is a great article about some success stories: http://mashable.com/2012/03/23/twitter-hashtag-campaigns/

    Nice reading you!

  6. EDIE CHENG says:

    Hey 😀
    I just simply like the way that you constructed your article which is very informative, interesting and inspiring. All the examples and the vote are encouraging readers to read on 😀
    I agree that companies shall give the freedom to employees to get access to social media during working hours, and I know it is not easy to control the situation while self-regulation has different definition for everyone. However, if the company can further reward staffs who have contributed enormously to the network or boosted one’s productivity through engaging in the social media, it might be more effective than worrying about how to moderate or constraint their usage of social media for non-job-related purpose.

    • Thanks for the comment Edie. I agree, companies can do more damage than good by restricting or denying access to social media for staff because they are worried about it being used for non-work-related purposes. A really good example of this was last year during the floods. My organisation has a policy of blocking all access to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, however during the floods all of the real time police updates relating to road closures, areas being evacuated etc were made using these platforms. As we were unable to view these updates we were unable to accurately determine the exact impact that the flooding would have on our facilities and how our staff were going to be affected.

  7. 2ndweb says:

    Great post Candice!! I really like the way you have drawn on some high profile examples and related it back to your own personal experiences at work. I totally agree with you that the benefits really do outweigh the risks when it comes to social media. Looking forward to your next post 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback. I must admit, I find things a lot easier to grasp when I can relate them to something personal to me. Just makes it a bit more relevant I suppose. Cheers.

  8. PrapatW says:

    I think social medias are powerful weapon for our brand however, they could backfire at us as well. The benefit is surely out weight the negative effect but we should avoid the negative effect at all cost. Even 1 bad new from the social medias will leave a scar to our brand eternally. We need to be very careful and minimize all the risk we can and hope for the best.

    Cheers,

    Prapat W.

    • I totally agree Prapat. Just a single bad comment can leave a lasting scar on a brands’ image. I must admit as a consumer, I will often access review sites for products/restaurants/hotels etc and no matter how many good reviews a place or product gets, if you read a single negative review, it can really change the way you view a company. Thanks for the feedback, very much appreciated.

  9. ilovebrisbane says:

    Hi Candice:
    I like your post.This is simple description for Enterprise 2.0. I aslo like your ideal to vote online.This is so interesting.I think that the most individuals can choose entrey social network work because this is innovation for them.

  10. Pingback: Internal Social Networking for Airservices: Can getting employees to talk to each other boost engagement? | candiceruddle

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