The pros and cons of Enterprise2.0

20 Aug

In China, there is a traditional viewpoint that everything has two sides. The great benefits gained from the implementation of Enterprise2.0 are also accompanied with some potential risks. Among all the benefits, the top two for organizations or firms, as I see it, should be enhancing knowledge, staff engagement.

Knowledge refers to knowledge management. This terminology for most people is pretty blurred compared to information. To be brief, knowledge should be the product through assimilating information over time or within experience. Therefore, knowledge is the blood of an organization. And enterprise2.0 should be the vessel used to transmit the knowledge. Studying from the success stories, Northwestern Mutual Life (insurance company) has a good acquisition of the importance of knowledge. The number of older workers is high means this company has a powerful cultural and experience-based context. Thus, it uses Awareness (an enterprise2.0 platform), a kind of enterprise2.0 platform, to create a searchable warehouse to their employees. What a mighty strategy. Tacit knowledge shift to dynamic and open and keep improving.

Staff is the foundation of a company simply because community is made by people. Previously, I did not understand what the engagement actually means in the lecture. After reading some materials, it is clear for me that the one who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests is the staff engagement. This can be served as a kind of ROI of enterprise2.0. Transparent and frictionless working environment can promote employees’ trust. As they have positive emotion, staffs within the community have more willing to share their feelings, ideas, and innovations. Just like IBM, it supports platforms such as Delicious, Social Blue to let the employees feel empowered. As a result, decentralized social media divided unprecedented collaboration on innovation.


By now, I mainly focus on the benefits. However, if the implementation of enterprise2.0 is inappropriate, its risks cannot be ignored. Security may be key thing most company concerned about. Network is virtual world. Worms, Trojans, and a host of other malware and spyware also affect the reliability and accuracy of the comments, knowledge or feedback. Thus, rigorous security policies and solutions should be taken into account.

Another risk of enterprise2.0 implementation requiring highly attention is the loss of control. As one person can have various identities in network. Sometimes staffs that have individual compliant about the company will post negative comments to the public, significant threat to a company’s reputation. Janssen-Cilag does a good job on this situation. They use Wiki as their intranet. As we know, wiki provides a complete history of changes. That is, anyone who has edited the wiki can be monitored by Janssen-Cilag. The improper actions can be eliminated to the highest extent.


Although Enterprise2.0 have some shortcomings, we cannot deny its contribution and refuse it. In my view,  the implementation of enterprise2.0 will become the inevitable trend. As I said at the begining: most things have two handles; and a wise man takes hold of the best.

Case reference:

How IBM uses Social media to spur Employee innovation

Enterprise Wiki increases collaboration and connection at Janssen-Cilag

Enterprise2.0 success stories from Awareness

What is staff engagement? 


Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Enterprise2.0, Implementation



7 responses to “The pros and cons of Enterprise2.0

  1. Dawn Lau

    August 21, 2011 at 1:31 am

    YES, while information flow becomes more complex in enterprise 2.0, companies should find a better way to obtain useful details on it.

  2. vydam

    August 22, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Yes I agree with your comments on benefits and risks. With benefits there will always be risks, although some risks are covered for i.e security firewalls etc. It only takes a matter of time until it fails. By constantly upgrading the security, the lesser risk there is. Well thats my opinion anyways.

    Great post keep it up!

  3. whellmuth

    August 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I think we should pause and understand that every activity has a risk.
    In project management we talk about the probablity of risk * impact of risk.
    There is a perception in social media, that the both probability and impact of risk are high.
    The proability of risk in social media can be mitigated, however the impact of the risk is scary.
    Not easy to come up with effective containment strategies.

    • Wu Yunshan

      August 25, 2011 at 6:11 am

      yeah, the benefits brought by web2.0 can overweight the negative impacts

  4. Kim Harrison

    August 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Good Post. It was very interesting to read. I like your take on benefits and risks. Keep up the good work 🙂


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