The Enterprise 2.0 Conference begins this evening in Boston. Conference organizers indicate that there are approximately 1,500 people registered for the event, which has become the largest one for those interested in the use of Web 2.0 technologies inside business organizations.
The most valuable part of last year’s conference was the case studies on Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) from early adopter organizations like Lockheed Martin and the Central Intelligence Agency. They presented an early argument for how and why Web 2.0 could be used by businesses.
Here are some things that I anticipate encountering at the E2.0 Conference this year:
- a few more case studies from end user organizations, but not enough to indicate that we’ve reached a tipping point in the E2.0 market
- an acknowledgement that there are still not enough data and case studies to allow us to identify best practices in social software usage
- that entrenched organizational culture remains the single largest obstacle to businesses trying to deploy social software
- a nascent understanding that E2.0 projects must touch specific, cross-organizational business processes in order to drive transformation and provide benefit
- a growing realization that the E2.0 adoption will not accelerate meaningfully until more conservative organizations hear and see how other companies have achieved specific business results and return on investment
- a new awareness that social software and its implementations must include user, process, and tool analytics if we are ever to build a ROI case that is stated in terms of currency, not anecdotes
- that more software vendors that have entered the E2.0 market, attracted by the size of the business opportunity around social software
- a poor opinion of, and potentially some backlash against, Microsoft SharePoint as the foundation of an E2.0 solution; this will be tempered, however, by a belief that SharePoint 2010 will be a game changer and upset the current dynamics of the social software market
- an absence of understanding that social interactions are content-centric and, therefore, that user generated content must be managed in much the same manner as more formal documents
So there are some of my predictions for take-aways from this year’s E2.0 conference. I will publish a post-conference list of what I actually did hear and learn. That should make for some interesting comparison with today’s post; we will learn if my sense of the state of the market was accurate or just plain off.
In the meanwhile, I will be live-tweeting some of the sessions I attend so you can get a sense of what is being discussed at the E2.0 Conference on the fly. You can see my live tweets by following my event feed on Twitter.