Making the Enterprise 2.0 leap - or suck it and see

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Enterprise 2.0 is the buzzword on all the vendors and analysts lips these days, but is it a safe bet for customers? In a hype-driven business like the software industry, this week's 'must have' can quickly become next week's 'it was worth a shot'. That's fine in the good times, but problematic in a credit crunch.

AMR Research last week issued some good advice on how to minimise the risk from an Enterprise 2.0 gambit, including how to avoid being tied to a vendor that may or may not be around in 12 months or investing time, money, and resources into emerging technologies that are either under-utilised or not used at all.

AMR highlights what it calls the “fail early/fail frequently“ approach. This argues that Enterprise 2.0 technologies are inexpensive and easy enough to deploy to allow for a few failures for the sake of those that work successfully. It suggests that this works especially well when an internal user organisation, such as a sales or customer support department, is “pushing for some internal-use collaboration tools and is willing to take on some of the implementation and administrative work to get things moving”.

Another strategy is to wait for your vendor of choice, preferably one your company relies on for CRM, ecommerce, or other enterprise applications support, to develop and release its own set of Enterprise 2.0 tools. “This has the advantage of providing the IT organisation with an integrated and consistent set of administration and management tools, a common look and feel for users, and a single set of directory services to deal with,” notes AMR.

AMR recommends that: “Now may be a good time to watch for Enterprise 2.0 announcements from your leading CRM and ecommerce vendors. If the 'fail fast' method doesn’t work for you or your company, maybe the tried-and-true method of 'sit and wait' will.”

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