Over the past decades, a whole set of new technologies have appeared on the internet. These allow the users to do more than just retrieve information, they have changed the face of world wide web by allowing information sharing and collaboration. The term Web 2.0 was created to describe these tools and technologies.

Andrew McAfee coined the term Enterprise 2.0 to highlight how these same technologies could be used in business organizations to track and share the ever growing amount of enterprise content. The emerging social software platforms are being now widely used within companies or between companies and their partners or customers.

Enterprise 2.0 technologies include the following:

  • Social Networking
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
  • Podcasting
  • Mashups
  • Social Voting/Ranking
  • Web Services

Businesses can accomplish a lot through Enterprise 2.0. A few examples include the following:

  • Increase Collaboration
  • Raise Awareness
  • Increase Agility/Responsiveness
  • Faster Communication
  • Increase Innovation
  • Reduction of IT Costs
  • Accelerate Brokering of People

There is risk associated with adopting any new technology, and Enterprise 2.0 is no different. These are some of the associated risks:

  • Security Threats – When you open up your enterprise to share information, you also expose your infrastructure to rogues, misfits and malcontents.
  • Losing control of content
  • Losing IT control – Enterprise 2.0 is decentralized and ad hoc, it puts more control in the hands of the user and less in the IT department. Some vendors are addressing control concerns by providing a dashboard that gives you control over which employees can access and use which tools, and this could help reduce IT fears.

The fact is, Enterprise 2.0 concepts are gaining credibility. More than 800 people attended the recent Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, which included speakers from IBM, Microsoft and Cisco, and a host of other smaller players. Enterprise 2.0 is definitely getting a lot of recognition and supporters across companies and will go a long way in optimizing the businesses.