Sam Lawrence put up this post on the Anatomy of the Enterprise Octopus and as usual he takes advantage of good graphics to make his point in such a way as to be hard to take issue with. He nails it with the following quote:
Think of this is way more effective baton passing. Formal workflows don’t work. People need to know where things are and when it’s right for them to engage. They even need to know how other people like to be engaged. Making sure the trains run on time is big business and things like social workflows and much easier coordination of work can make big gains for companies.
There’s something paradigm shifting going on with enterprise 2.0 but it’s not about collaborate this or user generated that, I suspect it has more to do with the rethinking of business process applications and their limits. We’ve gone through two massive generations of enterprise software that have been predominately master data and transaction oriented with efficiencies being the primary ROI generator.
The rather obvious truth that many of us see is that while efficiencies have translated into better economics for many companies, they have not resulted in better companies that optimize for new opportunities. Also, at an individual employee level, most enterprise software simply sucks and that’s the genesis of the business consumer who takes charge of his/her application environment much to the dismay of formal IT.