EA Series – Episode 18: Determining the ROI of Enterprise 2.0

“Despite recent statistics showing that Enterprise 2.0 tools have spread to about a third of businesses globally, there remain ongoing questions being asked in the enterprise software community about the real returns that they provide to businesses that deploy them. Certainly blogs, wikis, and social networks are popular on public networks, but does that translate to meaningful bottom line value to organizations? In other words, is Enterprise 2.0 truly strategic in the unique way that information technology can so often be?”

Read this interesting article that gives insights into the Enterprise Web 2.0 adoption patterns by organizations, the supposed ROI on Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies. Shown below is an illustration of an idealized model of ROI for Enterprise 2.0 effort.

ROI for an Enterprise 2.0

As you see, initially the investment is high with insignificant value in returns, but with time, the value accrued far exceeds the investments, value accrued mainly in terms of productivity and innovation with growth primarily driven by network effect. The author further talks about the reasons for weariness in adoption of these technologies, key ROI aspects and analysis, cause-effect chains, pointing to various article references and finally goes on to say that the future workers will harness knowledge and capabilities they need over the “network”. On a follow-up, this article deliberately takes a contrarian view of the above stating that in reality Enterprise 2.0 promise is years off!!! * chuckle *

Reading the two articles above written from two different opposite perspectives, how do you think Enterprise 2.0 can benefit an organization and result in a high ROI? Or can it?


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