What to Expect from Enterprise 2.0 Tech in 2008

Loraine Lawson

As the prediction stories roll out, there's one topic that's made every list I've seen: Enterprise 2.0 technologies, which, in my opinion, means exactly the same thing as Web 2.0 technologies, but marketed to businesses.

For instance, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm, recently issued its predictions for 2008, and topping the list was that companies will adopt more advanced Web 2.0 technology, including social-networking functions, in the coming year.

Its second prediction is that companies will focus on making making HR technology easier for employees to use. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see how these two predictions could merge, with the push for better HR technology driving Enterprise 2.0 adoption

Earlier this month, I interviewed Jeff Brainard, director of product marketing at Socialtext, which sells wikis for the enterprise. I asked him what sort of innovations 2008 would bring for wiki technology.

His answer, which you'll find at the end of the full Q&A, was two-fold:

  1. A marriage of wikis with other Web 2.0 technologies, particularly social-networking functions. By this he means wikis will start to include a social context for participants -- for instance, you'd be able to tell that co-worker Jeff has a marketing background and therefore is more of an expert on that topic than, say, Suzy, who really excels at sales.
  2. More integration with enterprise infrastructure. He particularly discussed Microsoft SharePoint, with which Socialtext already integrates -- but I should add, I'm seeing this repeated elsewhere. For example, this article in Australian IT mentions several specific projects where companies built out SharePoint systems with Enterprise 2.0 technologies, including a bank that added a MySpace-esque component to SharePoint portal. Brainard also foresees more support for integrating CRM systems or other portals.

He also shared how wikis such as Socialtext already support content integration from other sources and how Socialtext is adding some blog functions and RSS feeds to its enterprise wiki.


I particularly like the RSS feed idea and think its potential for business use is largely unexplored. I found a great example of a creative use of RSS feeds to solve business problems in this Network World article, which shares how one law firm uses RSS feeds to keep the attorneys up todate on the progress of company legal cases.


Previously, they had to e-mail each other documents and spreadsheets -- no doubt, lawyers spent a good deal of time sifting through information they did not need to find the nuggets of useful information they now receive in a feed.


Brainard also uses RSS feeds from Socialtext's own wiki to pre-filter information:

In some cases, the RSS reader is a faster, easier way for me to digest wiki content than going to the Web interface and having to click on links and traverse the content page by page. With the RSS reader, I can quickly get summaries and only click and read the pages in full that I desire.

As fellow IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk pointed out earlier this week, in another two to five years, young employees won't just want this technology, they'll expect it.


Faster, better and customized to your work needs -- that's the business value of Enterprise 2.0. When you put it that way, it's clear why Web 2.0 technology is safe prediction for 2008


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 28, 2007 11:59 AM Cindy Rockwell Cindy Rockwell  says:
CustomerVision BizWiki has had these functionalities for over a year an 1/2 already ahead of just the wiki curve and deploying blog functionality, RSS and widgets within their end-user application. Reply

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