The Social Enterprise – what problem are we trying to solve?

Social Computing along with Cloud Computing is one of the hot IT buzz words – i.e., the Social Cloud must then be the ultimate in buzz word compliance. This is in fact what Andrew McAfee from MIT’s Management school and Mike Gotta from Cisco are discussing.

Andrew presents his Enterprise 2.0 the Indian Way in a recent blog post. He describes a project done internally at Tata Consulting Services, where they build a social collaboration tool to rate and share the broad collection of project derived knowledge. It sounds deceptively simple, but on the other hand, I have seen the results from a number of similar projects deploying a very structured, formal approach to knowledge sharing – and none of those worked very well – so why not? The real trick at TCS didn’t seem to be so much about the tool, but what motivated the TCS consultants to engage. You could call it a bottom up approach to the Social Enterprise.

The opposite example is presented by Mike Gotta in his presentation: Build an Architecture of Participation. I have to warn you, it is heavy on models, slides etc. Although he is discussing the same thing, it is probably more of what you’d call a top down approach to the Social Enterprise.
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