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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Enterprise 2.0: Wide & Narrow

Andrew McAfee writes that it’s time to look at a narrow definition of Enterprise 2.0 and not as seen here by MR and Vinnie. I reread all the three pieces – by MR, Vinnie and Andrew and feel that the professor is missing the point. From his perspective he sees Enterprise 2.0 communicates all about changes to collaboration, not to development or delivery models. He explains

Tags, for example, are visible to end users; Service-oriented architectures are not. Enterprise 2.0, as these folk and I define it, is a trend that we think should be on the radar screens of non-technologist business leaders. Talking about development models and delivery methods is a good way to ensure that it doesn't get there, or doesn't stay there long. Business leaders' eyes will glaze over, or they'll quickly mentally file the topic as "something for my tech team to worry about."

I liked reading Vinnie’s spirited defense.

Enterprise 2.0 has got to be all encompassing and as wide as possible but need to be determinstic and thats what MR's characterization of enteprise 2.0 seems to suggest - a role for all relevant elements and the effects of their confluence. I am sure Professor andrew would agree that if his argument is extended, tags(which he characterises as an element of Enterprise 2.0) would definitely not make it to the list to be considered by business leaders.

Actually Andrew’s perspective looks far too narrow to make any sense to business. Ultimately any initiative needs to be funded by business and I do not agree that business leaders would not be concerned about development models and delivery methods. Next time when Harvard organizes a training program for CEO’s on global delivery methods – Andrew can see the interest shown in such programs. Matter of fact global delivery has long become a boardroom issue – most of the push to offshoring came from the business leaders and not from technologists!! After all delivering innovation and quality improvement costs money and these needs to factor in delivery models and development methods. Every time,I meet a business leader, invariably, I am always asked the question how do we manage IP breach issues in China or how do organizations manage delivery out of Asian locations besides India. After all delivery mechanisms are like extended value chains for services and as such are a strategic weapon and therefore a direct board level responsibility.

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