Adapt or Perish: Spinning Mule 2.0

An excellent post from Bertrand Dupperin on the future of E 2.0: Enterprise 2.0 : my predictions for 2009. One item stood out and that was:

The end of “soft value” : Enterprise 2.0 ROI have been a taboo subject for a long time.

Over at Bill Ives’ Blog, there’s a review of an IBM report on Social Media –Even More Research on the Use of Social Software in the Workplace from IBM. Bill says the next step is the hard $ question and we need to:

…see if there are ways we can tie these behaviors [behavioral ones] to level four financial impacts. I feel confident that this can be done.

I don’t think it’s going to be easy. If we go down the route of hard-cost savings then it potentially loses the richer benefits of social media which are much less harder to measure. IBM looks at the engagement factor by looking at societality, the element that interests me though is the degree to which E2.0 is a business enabler and a business transformer. Engagement might be measured in churn or satisfaction,even in increased profitability for the business, but E2 as business transformation provides more.

That more is the Mule effect…It’s an effect that will be measured after the event, by profound competitive advantage. That’s why there’s an edge to E2.0, time is of the essence. 2.0 may well dissolve into the enterprise as Bertrand believes, but those that get there 1st will be the winners. The laggards will be like those handloom weavers who in a generation moved from sporting £5 notes in their hats to, well, utter destitution. This may seem apocalyptic, but then we’re in uncharted times, with seemingly ‘timeless’ brands suddenly realising their mortality. E2.0 will only quicken that process.

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