Is social computing the next big thing? Can wikis, blogs, social networking, and other wildly popular Web 2.0 approaches successfully transition to the workplace? Many employees will never physically meet the people they correspond and work with every day, and some claim that face-to-face interaction is no longer necessary. With this new sense of what a workplace is, can Web 2.0 technologies help to create intimacy and promote enterprise knowledge sharing among coworkers? This report sets out to understand how leading organizations adapt Web 2.0 approaches to support the knowledge creation and capture needs of their workplaces and employees. We were amazed to find just how many organizations have made the leap, how enthusiastic their IT groups were to experiment alongside KM practitioners, and the speed with which lessons were learned in terms of making these approaches productive and scalable.
The names of social networking Web sites show how different they are in character from typical corporate intranets. Names such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Second Life, del.icio.us, and LinkedIn imply an intimate or tactile dimension usually found only in face-to-face interactions. Unlike centrally managed corporate IT applications, these tools are easy to use and user-controlled, low or no cost, spontaneous and self-organizing, and evidently a lot of fun.
In fact, people are putting information on public social networking sites that firms would prefer they did not. This is at least partly because the internal corporate applications and policies of the past did not provide users with the freedom to personalize and customize as much as they would like. Social computing—another collective term for Web 2.0 approaches—has the potential to make organizations more agile and efficient by enhancing communications and improving the way in which expertise is shared. For example, social networking tools allow people with niche or specific interests to find one another—and one another’s friends—easily.
In preparation for this report and as part of an in-depth study, this report investigates whether wikis facilitate collaboration more effectively than the tools organizations have traditionally used for community building, knowledge stewarding, and creation. We found that people inside organizations use wikis to manage projects, write white papers, and capture lessons learned, along with virtually any other collaborative purpose you can imagine. In this report we detail many of these appealing new technologies and how the best-practice organizations are preparing for the future. We also describe the challenges that integrating these tools present to the modern enterprise.
The organizations selected for deep, detailed study through structured data collection and site visits demonstrate innovative performance in one or more of the following study focus areas:
1. aligning information management (IM) strategy, architecture, and components to support knowledge transfer;
2. integrating IM with KM initiatives;
3. addressing organizational and cultural issues; and
4. evaluating the current and future trends in technology.
The goal of this study was to examine best-practice organizations (referred to as “best-practice partners” or “study partners”) that excel in one or more aspects of the study’s scope and to aggregate the best practices from all the organizations studied. To achieve this goal, our study team identified potential best-practice organizations that demonstrated a history of success in the four scope areas. Project sponsors then selected the final list of partners from among the candidates. SHOW LESS READ MORE >
Sponsor and Partner Organizations
Chapter 1 The Evolution of Social Computing
Chapter 2 KM 2.0—Enabling Strategies
Chapter 3 Using Enterprise 2.0 Tools
Chapter 4 Organizational and Cultural Issues— Balancing People, Process, and Technology
Chapter 5 Evaluating Current and Future Trends
Enterprise 2.0 Tools and Methods
Partner Organization Case Studies
Royal Dutch Shell plc
The U.S. Department of State