This particular blog is writing some valedictory notes as it feels that it's work on Enterprise 2.0 is done. It has these notes on what it thinks where the social networking revolution has taken us.
Do you agree?
Personal outsourcing: For the first time, employees all up and down the line have access to information they need to do their jobs better, advance companies, and advance their careers. John Schmidt so accurately described it as “personal outsourcing.” Unlike the traditional model for outsourcing — firms contracting out functions or processes to an outside firm — “individuals are starting to outsource their problem-solving and their own professional development,” he says. “They’re leveraging things like wikis, blogs, other collaboration events to collaborate in real-time with other individuals.” IT professionals go to Google, Wikipedia, and other online sources of support, Schmidt says. “They write out their question in their blog and look for their community to respond and help them. …they extended their network of peers to outside the four walls of their company. …they’re taking their problems and their professional challenges to the world.”
Economic revitalization and opportunity: Social networking and E2.0 provides a vast new array of tools for seeking out new markets, as well as managing through the tough times. Companies have means to better leverage the knowledge coursing through their corporate veins to turn around distressed lines of business. Employees have tools to ride through tough times, by staying well-connected with their professional networks and potential employers — even after they have been laid off. They no longer have to be powerless victims of recessions. (I called it the LIFT phenomenon — LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.) Employers have a resource to identify key talent to build their organizations.
Improving the quality — and joy — and therefore productivity — of work: The 9-to-5 rut had been withering on the vine for a number of years, and social networking is putting the final stakes in the industrialized, command-and-control model of management. Productivity is not something that occurs in a cubicle between 9 and 5, it’s something that comes in “bursts.” Social networks and E2.0 give everyone the flexibility and connectivity to respond to those bursts. In the process, the lines between work and personal life have not only just blurred — they’ve disappeared completely. Some Gloomy Guses say that’s not a good thing, and that employers will exploit it. I say it’s a real good thing. People should be proud of their work, and have the passion raging within them to want to pursue it, think about it, and embed it into their lives. Good riddance, 9 to 5.
Return on investment: A hotly debated topic. But the ROI is there. McKinsey & Company, for one, did countless studies the past few years that proved it. A couple of years back for example, they published the results of a survey of nearly 1,700 executivesfrom around the world which paints a highly positive picture of the business returns being seen from E2.0 deployments. Close to seven out of ten respondents (69%) report that their companies “have gained measurable business benefits [italics mine], including more innovative products and services, more effective marketing, better access to knowledge, lower cost of doing business, and higher revenues.”