The Enterprise is evolving and new technology systems are paving new ways for to employees collaborate, share data and manage business content. As organisations start to adapt to this evolution, the traditional top-bottom heirarchy model is transforming to a bottoms-up model where increased flexibility, transparency, and employees empowerment is seen at all level of the organisation. This new model is called Enterprise 2.0
The adoption of Enterprise 2.0 within organisation is on the increase, However there are still resistance and misconception by many organisations which is traced to its architecture, characteristics, components and application. This research investigates the underlying conception and perspectives surrounding the adoption of Enterprise 2.0. This is done through observing an organisation implementing Enterprise 2.0 systems and by conducting an employee survey.
The research identifies lack of implementation framework factors that lead to resistance by organisations to Enterprise 2.0. Organisations that need to understand how Enterprise 2.0 will benefit their business as well as organisations in the implementation process will find this research valuable.
This Project is dedicated to the memory of Engr. Saddik, Aunty Sa’adatu, Aunty Stella, and Abubukar Baba. I love you all.
I wish to give praise to Almighty God who has given me the good health and life to witness this moment where I would finish up another research work. My heartfelt thanks also goes to my Mother who gave me the courage to continue my education at the post graduate level, I love you Mamma. Words can’t express what you mean to me.
To all my Brothers and my one and only dear sister Ahayo thankyou for your prayers and encouragement.
To Musa Lamido, I thank you for the revelation you have given me again. Admiral M. Nyako, Alh. Lawal Buba, Teeta I thank you for your support and God will reward you for the unconditional love you gave to me.
I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Geetha, I will never forget your wise advise and encouragement. I thank you for your criticism, praise and determination you gave to me during my course of work. Despite your entire busy schedule, May God reward you in multiple folds.
All my lecturers in Engineering and Information Systems Department who guided me through my course of study to face the present and future challenges, I say Thank you. I also express my gratitude to Rachel Harding, the Infrastructure team and the entire employees from the case company, your cooperation is much appreciated.
I appreciate my true friends you know who you are, my course mates and flat mates and all my colleagues in Phillip Parker Ltd. I really appreciate your kindness and support.
Recognising that students have an ethical and moral obligation to ensure that all work that they submit in their name is, indeed, their own and free of plagiarism, I exercised caution throughout the writing process. When writing the dissertation, I made sure that all my sources were meticulously acknowledged. Even so, there remained a fear that I might have, inadvertently, have plagiarism sections in my study or paraphrased something without referencing it correctly.
Therefore, following the completion of the study, I scanned the dissertation using Viper for plagiarism and also checked it through https://www.articlechecker.com/checker.php. The plagiarism reports received from both plagiarism detection engines indicated that the work was, indeed, original and that I had not plagiarised any part of it. I am, thus, satisfied that the work which I am submitting as my own is original and is, in truth, my own.
Web 1.0: refers to the state of the World Wide Web, and any website design style used before the advent of the Web 2.0 phenomenon. It is the general term that has been created to describe the Web before the “bursting of the Dot-com bubble” in 2001, which is seen by many as a turning point for the internet
Web 2.0: refers to the second generation of web development and web design that facilitates information sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The advent of Web 2.0 led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and web applications. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and mashups.
Enterprise 2.0: refers to the introduction and implementation within an enterprise of Web 2.0 technologies, including rich Internet applications, providing software as a service, and using the web as a general platform.
Microsoft SharePoint: is a collection of products and software elements that includes, among a growing selection of components, Internet Explorer-based collaboration functions, process management modules, search modules and a document-management platform.
Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT): is a technology acceptance model formulated by Venkatesh and others in “User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view”
Mash up: is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service.
Blogs: A blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for business purposes. Blogs either used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes are called corporate blogs.
RSS: “Really Simple Syndication” but sometimes “Rich Site Summary” is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardised format.
Podcast: is a programme (usually audio, sometimes video) which is made available as a downloadable digital file.
Wikis: is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages, using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor, within the browser.
Tags: is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching.
The belief that the corporation is changing fundamentally has been around for decades dating back to Peter Ducker’s influential work in the 1980s. The rise of Web 2.0 is enabling new business strategies and design that enable firms to create differentiated value and lower cost structure. Web 2.0 was first defined by Tim O’Reilly (2007) as:
“A business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.”
Tim Berners-Lee (2006), originator of the World Wide Web argues differently:
“…I think Web 2.0 is, of course, a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means….”
This definition doesn’t end here; Web 2.0 is the natural next step in the evolution of the web where people engage, network through communities and collaborate. Examples of these tools include Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Blogs, and Tags.
Although these tools started on consumer websites, it has since been introduced into the Enterprise mainly as a means of internal communication, marketing, and sharing information. This phenomenon introduced the word Enterprise 2.0 to the society. Harvard Business School Professor Andrew McAfee is credited with coining the term “Enterprise 2.0” in 2006 (Reynolds, 2007). Currently Enterprise 2.0 is at an early (but accelerating) stage of adoption. It is expected that competitive advantage will come to those who embrace these new tools into their business cultures. Enterprise 2.0 is about communication. The premise is that the more easily people can communicate with others such as workers, team members, customers, vendors, clients, etc. that less information will be wasted. Amidst the advantages, there are challenges which create weariness among organisations to adopt it. This may be due to several factors. Stowe Boyd (2008) a senior consultant with Cutter Consortium states:
“First of all, they don’t know anything about it. So they’re starting at a personal disadvantage. There’s this technology that’s just sweeping out there in the consumer space and it doesn’t fit in with their world view, they don’t understand it.”
Will these organisations be losing out on a competitive strategic technology? Or, are they just resistant to change? Despite these doubts, some firms have successfully adopted Enterprise 2.0 and they are not looking back. What is driving the use of Enterprise 2.0 in these Organisations? These questions triggered the motivation behind this research.
The main aim of this research is to investigate and critically examine how Enterprise 2.0 is being perceived and adopted in organisations.
This research will try to address the following questions:
For the purpose of this research work, both primary and secondary data will be collected to achieve the set objectives of the study.
The techniques that will be applied in collecting the primary data will be interviews, phone calls and by administering a questionnaire to targeted Companies which are currently utilising Enterprise 2.0. A careful study of a company will also be a source of data.
In the collection of secondary data, information will be acquired through online jornals, webinars, published journals/articles and books from library. The research methodology adopted will be further discussed in Chapter 3.
This report consists of five chapters. The introductory chapter highlights the background, aims and objectives of the study. It will also address the motive behind the research question and the approach used in carrying out the research.
In the second chapter, the literature review, different views relating to Enterprise 2.0 will be reviewed. Different tools and techniques will be presented as well as the technological hype cycle of E2.0 will be presented.
The methodology chapter will present philosophy and methods of research undertaken for this study. It will also describe the sampling, data collection tools and the methods used for data analysis.
The fourth chapter will present the results of the research and analyse them respectively.
Finally, the fifth chapter, conclusions will be made resulting from the data analysis. This research will offer recommendation to the industry with due consideration to the results of the primary data and the review of the literature.
This chapter will present and critically review current knowledge related to Enterprise 2.0 from various sources. Firstly, an overview to the general concepts and principles guiding the nature and development of Web 2.0 will be reviewed and how it moved into the organisation. Secondly, the process by which Enterprise 2.0 is used and the hype cycle within the organisation will also be discussed. In addition, this chapter will discuss benefits and risks associated with Enterprise 2.0 in the organisations. Lastly, this chapter will highlight some relevant arguments surrounding Enterprise 2.0.
The Internet has been around since 1969, when the U.S Military Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) first linked four networked computers into what was then known as ARPANET. In the 80’s people used email and participated in discussions on networks like Usenet and Bitnet. The Internet was growing exponentially. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) became available in 1988 and communities formed in chat rooms (Shannon 2009).
In 1991 the World Wide Web was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee. This phenomenon changed the world of computing forever. However, in its initial status the web was still static, factored by Low internet speed which mainly supported text, low quality image and hyperlinks. In the late Nineties the static websites evolved to a more distributed application where web pages started linking with huge databases, media integration such as video and music streaming, search engines like Google etc.
These evolutions laid down the blue print to what is now called Web 2.0, which Funk (2009) describe as the “upgraded, improved, and modernised World Wide Web we are using today”. The concept of web 2.0 started during a brainstorming session held at media live international between its employees (O’Reilly, 2005). Dale Doherty the O’Reilly Vice President stated that the ‘…web was far from having crashed’ but instead that the internet was now more important than ever because of the many new applications being created with increased regularity (O’Reilly, 2005). In their brainstorming session they agreed to differentiate between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.
Ever since the term Web 2.0 was defined, there had been a lot of arguments and discussions as to its meaning. While some people refer to it as just a futile marketing term, others are saying there are no Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, there is just the Web. Supporting the latter, Shaw (2005) states that Web 2.0 does not really exist and marketers just like using the term. He however agrees that there are new components introduced to the web such as RSS, Social Networking and user generated contents.
O’Reilly (2005) defines Web 2.0 as “A business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.”
Dawson (2009) defines it as “Distributed technologies built to integrate, that collectively transform mass participation into valuable emergent outcomes.”
Some critics like Andrew Keen (2006), who is well known for his concerns about Web 2.0’s undermining effect on culture wrote that Web 2.0 is a “grand utopian movement” similar to “communist society”, he also added that “This outlook is typical of the Web 2.0 movement, which fuses ’60s radicalism with the utopian eschatology of digital technology. The ideological outcome may be trouble for all of us.”
It is apparently clear that the Web has changed the way we communicate, do business, and our daily lives compared to when we first started using the internet. Organisations most especially benefit more from this change as it brings them even closer and personal to their customers. But this benefit comes at a price of making sensitive information accessible. Web 2.0 has slacked accessibility to vital information as we would discuss later in this chapter.
Organisations are usually sensitive about their data. Edward Yourdon (2007) said, “Web 2.0 typically involves much less emphasis on security, privacy, backup, control, governance, and business justification”, although the improvement of technology grows with counter measures as security standards are being raised both on the consumer and provider side.
While the internet still is a source of information, it was only after the evolution that was discussed in the previous section that individuals were able to utilise it as a collaboration platform. It has made the users pass the stage of just browsing to a stage of ‘users and contents’. Web 2.0 tools fall into many categories; they show how valuable output can be generated from participation. Table 2.2 illustrates some of the Web 2.0 tools available today and the techniques they use.
Given these descriptions, it is important for each of these tools to be measured in terms to what made them Web 2.0 tools. Dawson (2009) further highlights some characteristics that tools must possess to be called Web 2.0 compliant:
Every aspect of Web 2.0 is driven by participation. The transition to Web 2.0 was enabled by the emergence of platforms such as blogging, social networks, and free image and video uploading, that collectively allowed extremely easy content creation and sharing by anyone.
Standards provide an essential platform for Web 2.0. Common interfaces for accessing content and applications are the glue that allows integration across the many elements of the emergent web.
Web 2.0 is decentralised in its architecture, participation, and usage. Power and flexibility emerges from distributing applications and content over many computers and systems, rather than maintaining them on centralised systems.
The world of Web 2.0 has only become possible through a spirit of openness whereby developers and companies provide open, transparent access to their applications and content.
Web 2.0 is the antithesis of the monolithic. It emerges from many, many components or modules that are designed to link and integrate with others, together building a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
A primary direction of Web 2.0 is for users to control the content they create, the data captured about their web activities, and their identity. This powerful trend is driven by the clear desires of participants.
Identity is a critical element of both Web 2.0 and the future direction of the internet. We can increasingly choose to represent our identities however we please, across interactions, virtual worlds, and social networks. We can also own and verify our real identities in transactions if we choose.
These features that Web 2.0 tools must possess have dramatically changed the form of the web from what Web 1.0 harnessed. For example Web 1.0 tools only possessed the following:
Web 2.0 is not only useful in the consumer markets; Enterprises are also harnessing it behind the corporate firewalls. When Organisations are utilising Web 2.0 tools in the work place, it is referred to as Enterprise 2.0 which this research is focusing on.
According to Platt (2007) the interest of organisations in web 2.0 technology lies mainly in two areas; within the organisation for the purpose of improving efficiency and productivity and between the organisation and it’s customers to increase the company revenue by increasing the customer satisfaction.
Cook (2009) adds “Organisations are utilising internal blogs to share information; Wikis to collaborate on publish documents, enterprise bookmarking to augment existing ways of finding information and social networking tools to manage expertise and tacit knowledge”.
According to a Forrester Research (Young, 2009), there will be a strong demand for web 2.0 tools in the enterprise in the future, according report to another it made nearly one in two businesses will make use of enterprise 2.0 software in 2009, a staggering number given that the application of social software to employee collaboration and productivity goals is just three years old. Although still at its early stage, social networking tools have received positive acceptance in organisations as a collaborative tool. However, there is still a bridge to gap as some organisations are still reluctant to accept it. This is further discussed as the challenges to adopt Enterprise 2.0 tools later in section.
Perez (2008) predicted that one of the main challenges of getting Web 2.0 into the enterprise will be getting past the gatekeepers of traditional Information technology (IT). She also said that businesses have been showing interest in these new technologies. Especially departments outside of IT., mainly it’s the marketing department, R&D, and corporate communications pushing for the adoption of more Web 2.0 tools. The IT. departments tend to view Web 2.0 tools as being insecure at best, or, at worst, a security threat to the business.
There is no doubt that trying to envision how Web 2.0 changes traditional business models is difficult. That might be because Web 2.0 offers a sort of reversed way of looking at the way we do things now, for example, establishing a business online as regards to the traditional way of having an office floor space. Many customers who transact with on-line stores cannot tell where actually the store is located; all they seem to be concerned about is accessing the store through their computer screen. This is a typical example of the revolution that Web 2.0 technology has brought to the world; it has created a virtual market place. In addition Enterprise 2.0 is changing the way organisations are structured as it gives employees access to data more quickly by reducing the long chain of data flow and thus empowering employees to take right decisions more accurately and quickly.
Hinchcliffe (2006) noted ‘Web 2.0 frequently embodies the emergent and freeform instead of the predefined and structured. It’s often bottom-up instead of command-and-control. It’s self-service instead of being mediated’. Some organisations have successfully integrated web 2.0 tools to their systems. For example, Wells Fargo is using blogs to give executives an informal channel for employee and customer discussions, and RSS feeds to funnel news into a CRM system (Hoover, 2007). Some organisations have tailored it to their preferred preference; Lockheed Martin’s enterprise social software product called “Unity” is a good example. A snap shot of the application is shown in Figure 2.2.
Some other companies are not even aware that they are using Enterprise 2.0 tools. For example, using Skype for VoIP which is actually an Enterprise 2.0 tool, but a lot of employees do not know that. One certain issue is that these tools can only be valuable if they are applied at the right place, for the right purpose. Another important issue with Enterprise 2.0 in organisations is that utilising it can help retain knowledge, as one of the capabilities it provides is building and maintaining a pool of knowledge management repository. These repositories grow over time and become a pool of contributed knowledge for the firm.
In 1995, Gartner proposed that the adoption of any new technology follows a hype cycle (Gartner, 2008). Gartner’s proposal (shown in Figure 2.3) also illustrates how and when technologies move beyond the hype, offer practical benefits and has become widely accepted.
The Hype cycle as can be seen in Figure 2.3, comprises of five features:
Based on the last cycle report released by Gartner in July 2008, Web 2.0 was at the point of “Trough of Disillusionment”. Some authors and writers rejected Gartner’s report. Some stated that the fact that Gartner’s Hype Cycle reports were sold for over a thousand dollars puts a shadow over its authenticity (Oehlert, 2008).
Silicon’s Valley integrity in terms of analysing hype in technology has been significantly commercialised, added Lacy (2009). The reality is however, Gartner’s hype cycle integrated and measured every element of Web 2.0 as a single technology and not individually. This in turn gave an unexpected rating. It also rated Web 2.0 as it is being hyped in the media market and not how it is perceived or utilised in the Organisation.
Implementing Enterprise 2.0 into an existing organisation is no different from changing its business process or implementing any other new technology. Just like when a firm is implementing organisational wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, it must be carefully planned to ensure it becomes productive and not a liability to the firm. Enterprise 2.0 tools are more inclined to bottoms-up approach against the traditional top-down approach. The current generation going into the work force will definitely require Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) tools to work with, employees must provide that for them or allow them to utilise them, or else they risk losing their valuable employees to competitors who would provide these tools to the new employees (Cook, 2009).
Dennis Moore (2007) concurred during an Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston that employees would always want to utilise the tools they use at home in their work place and as such they would not wait for the organisation to provide them with the tools they love. Tom Davenport (2007) disagreed with her by suggesting that in organsations the top management is always in charge of making rules and enforcing the rules, so in that case employees must always have to wait for management decisions regarding what tools they must use in the work place. He further cited that employees do not even control the content of their emails let alone introduce software for their use.
In view of the above argument, Davenport’s comment might be right and wrong. It is understood that organisational culture is valued more than the agile E2.0 tools; on the other hand the organisation should acknowledge that employees have life outside the working hours, and the knowledge of these activities can also contribute positively to the firm, agreeing with the statement will only limit the share of ideas in the enterprise and thinking outside the box. Companies that embrace change develop new paradigms and methodologies will be the ones to find advantages over the competition. This leaves a void in the work place, should management dictate to employees or provide a work place that is fashioned on bringing new ideas and means of doing work.
The mechanism for implementing E2.0 in the organisation has been a factor that has been challenging organisations that are keen on adopting E2.0, being a new tool; going about implementing it requires not only understanding the frame-work but also having the required skills to use it. There are different blueprints presented by industry experts as a guide to a successful implementation. Some of the popular best practices proposed include:
The framework covered the factors involved in implementing E2.0, for example it identified addressing risk and internal adoption barriers involved which we would discuss later. Other factors covered include setting policies and governance guideline to direct implementation, involving top management, to managing cultural change as the process of implementation is advancing. Hinchcliffe (2009), has criticised the afore mentioned models as not covering what he calls ‘enterprise context’ which he described as issues such as allocated budget, executive sponsorship, clear understanding of business needs, security requirements, corporate mandate, project planning, communication, and compliance.
Nonetheless, where organsations start from the framework depends on the type of enterprise for example their size, culture and organisational structure will be the determinant, much of the work involved in the process would be in ‘drive adoption and value stage’ (Dawson, 2009)
Although there had been different drivers attributed by different experts on E2.0, all have not identified a common feature per say. For example, Lee (2007) identified desire, recognition, organisational structure, trust and transparency as the main drivers. Michael (2009), identified three factors that drives the growth of E2.0 in the enterprise: Web 2.0 technologies, demand for enterprise applications and business cultures that is supportive for innovations.
Lee (2007) supported his own statement by adding that “Try as you may, you can’t really force people to collaborate and expect great results” Customers are also known to be an important factor that drives organisations to change their business model to suite Enterprise 2.0. As the evolution of the web continues, so do customers demand for different and easier means of getting service delivered to them. Organisations must be quick to fulfill these desires as any glitch could cost them their customers who would easily be absorbed by competitors who provide such services. Examples where customers have lead these changes is vividly clear in the Banking Industry, via Online banking and the Airline Industry via online booking of services like hotels, cars etc. These forms of customer self service also provides cost saving for the enterprise as Buytendijk et al (2008) states: “When customers take over front-office work, the company’s costs are lowered and high-quality data is ensured. (It is in the customer’s best interest to enter their data correctly)”.
It is obvious that the drivers for E2.0 are not universal, they could be internal or external, and the industry can also dictate what current trends to flow with. The generation Y employees who are currently replacing the X generation are also moving into the work place with their technological skills, they had been growing up using social software tools, instant messaging tools etc and thus changing and driving the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 in the work place.
In a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by KPMG in 2007, it reported that corporate executives across a range of industries agreed that adopting consumer-based Web 2.0 tools for commercial use has the potential to transform businesses (Matuszak 2007). This “Enterprise 2.0” adoptation could offer benefits in three key areas fostering collaboration, innovation, and enhanced productivity. Up until recently the lack of viable case studies has held back firms from even trying a pilot phase on E2.0. However increasing evidence has brought about adoption, a typical example being Wells Fargo having rolled out Enterprise 2.0 platforms to 160,000 workers (Hinchcliffe 2007). “It has become clear that we’re moving out of the early pioneer phase to a broader acceptance phase” said Hinchcliffe (2007).
It is very important for a company to understand the benefits that E2.0 will provide them before making the move towards adopting it. Below are some of the benefits attributed to E2.0:
Subsequent to highlighting some of the benefits that come with Enterprise 2.0, there are some pitfalls identified with it just like the famous saying “the sweet can never be sweet without the sour”. These risks also create barriers for organisations that have the urge to adopt these tools, but like any enterprise system benefits come at a price. Some of the risk involved with E2.0 includes:
Some companies have seen the benefits and are rolling out pilot test to start with; however some see the risk and challenges that have to be addressed before they adopt it.
Organisations are trying to understand how emergent technologies like Enterprise 2.0 will affect their business. Organisational culture tends to be the barrier on adopting new organisational tool. Traditional behavior makes an enterprise reluctant to adopt a system that would allow outsiders access to their business process.
Enterprise 2.0 enthusiasts say it is only by transparency, collaboration and knowledge sharing across organisations that a company can reap the benefits of Enterprise 2.0. It is clear that Enterprise 2.0 tools provide employees with effective collaboration, enhance problem solving techniques, accelerate decision making, thus making it likely that many companies will want to incorporate Enterprise 2.0 tools into their business.
The challenge faced is to move beyond the barriers of contemplating and adopt it while ensuring that the benefits are reaped and ensuring that enterprise data and assets are protected as well.
This chapter will discuss about the methodology adopted and elaborates the chosen research approach used and the reasons for their selection. Further, this chapter will describe the data collection tools and the sample population that will be used. Finally how the primary data will be collected and processed. It will also describe the secondary data collected for the literature review.
The research approach influences the research design and it also highlights the prospects that would deem the study successful and also highlights hurdles that may be encountered during the study (Creswell, 2003). The research approach for this study has considered the following approaches;
Qualitative research is intrigued with complexity of social interactions and signifies the participants attribute to these interactions; it is pragmatic, interpretive and grounded in experience of people (Marshal and Rossman, 1999). The quantitative research on the other hand generally makes use of the physical sciences, because they are controlled in such a way to guarantee objectivity, generalisation and reliability (Creswell, 2003).
Rossman and Rallis identified some characteristics associated with qualitative research as: takes place in the natural world, uses multiple methods that are interactive and humanistic, is emergent rather than tightly prefigured, and is fundamentally interpretive (cited in Marshal and Rossman 1999). Information Systems is witnessing a general shift in research away from technological to managerial and organisational issues, hence an increasing interest in the application of qualitative research methods (Myers 2008).
This study tends to combine both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect and analyse data. As data collected for the study was done in both a quantitative and qualitative manner for example the limited response questionnaire (quantitative) will further be explored in depth by using information received from the unstructured interview (qualitative).
Research approach is based on assumptions and for research to be valid and ensuring, the most appropriate approach should be selected. Orlikowski and Baroudi (1991) proposed three philosophical categories related to information system i.e. positivist, interpretive and critical.
In respect to this study it is apparently clear that the most suitable philosophy to adopt is the interpretative approach as the study is trying to understand a context, since the study question is not applying or forming a hypothesis and nor criticising any matter, both the positivist and critical approach will be neglected for this study.
The purpose of this research is to study the underlying issue regarding adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools in the organisation. The study entails to focus on the general work environment particularly environments that is comfortable with information systems i.e. employees that utilise Information Systems in their everyday work environment. In order to achieve this, a random selection of employees registered to various on-line communities will be forwarded an administered questionnaire.
This study will also select a case study company to have a firsthand observation on employee’s attitude towards Enterprise 2.0. Due to legal and confidentiality reasons, the case study company name will not be disclosed but would be referred to as “Company X” from here on.
Company X is a multi-national organisation with main office in London and branch offices in Greece, Malaysia, Germany and Hungary. The company just deployed Microsoft SharePoint, a robust Enterprise 2.0 tool; to all its offices to enhance collaboration as employees working on projects usually reside in different geographical locations. The researcher plans to observe and communicate with the employees on their perspective on the new tools.
The reasons why the researcher focused on these two groups i.e. selected category of the public that were comfortable with Information system and Company X was as follows:
The value of a research is attributed to how data is being collected and significantly if the researcher combined both primary and secondary data sources (Jackson, 1994). Data collection for the study will be done through primary and secondary sources. The primary source of data will include information collected by unstructured conversation, unstructured interview with employees of Company X and through administration of a questionnaire. Creswell (2003) said, questionnaires permit the researcher to gather a great number of data on a restricted budget and quickly.
The secondary data was mainly obtained from on-line articles, on-line journals, blogs, webinars proceedings, and text books. The reason why data was sourced more on electronic papers was due to lack of published books that were available for the study. Additionally, as Enterprise 2.0 being a new trend, it was more relevant to focus on electronic materials as they contained the most current issues within the E2.0 industry.
The study utilised the following methods to build a reliable form of data collection;
The questionnaire will be structured into three parts. The first part will include personal questions like age, department, and location of organisation. The second part will focus on assessing respondent’s general knowledge on web 2.0 tools and how they use them. The third part will focus on respondent’s attitude and perception on Enterprise 2.0 tools.
The questionnaire will be designed with an on-line survey tool called ‘survey monkey’, it will be designed to be simple and unambiguous. It should also provide a definition of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 to make respondents familiar with the terms. The answer choice will administer a seven point Likert scale range i.e. from 0-strongly disagree all through 6-strongly agree.
In developing the third section of the questionnaire, it will adopt and modify questions from Venkatesh, Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model. (Sample questionnaire is attached in Appendix A)
Unstructured interviews will be used to gather data to further support the primary data, there will be no outlined questions planned for the interview. Unstructured interview appears more naturalistic and the order of questions asked flow from the respondents reply rather than being entirely imposed by the interviewer’s (Sapsford and Jupp, 1996). The interviews will typically involve less procedural activity than the standardised format of a scheduled interview. An unstructured interview will be adopted becauses it will be more flexible and allows a flexible communication scenario with the respondents.
The researcher has arranged for a phone call interview with employees of Cisco, Microsoft and Virtusa Ltd. An interview has also been appointed with the operations manager for Company X where more details from managerial perspective will be gathered.
The aim of the interview is to focus on managerial employees who are responsible in making decisions for organisations.
The population here refers to the materials which the sample is taken, as well as group of interest that was considered. Questionnaires were distributed to the targeted public employees via on-line communities; however, the questionnaire was not made compulsory to answer. More than 500 employees were sent the questionnaire online only a total of 60 were returned from the public. Similarly, In Company X, a modified questionnaire designed to meet the needs of the staffs based on Microsoft SharePoint was also distributed via the employee’s internal mail system. A total of 45 questionnaires was returned from Company X. A major factor that lead to the low response from Company X was due to language barrier, majority of its employees in Greece, Hungary, and German could not fill the questionnaire as it was administered in English. But there was no way to guarantee that the entire selected employees received a copy.
The sample size for this study represents the entire population elements selected for a closer study. This is because of the fact that the use of the entire population is not feasible as not all respondents returned a feedback. For these obvious reasons a sample size upon which data is collected was chosen. The sample chosen for this research will be based on the amount of questionnaires returned. The consideration of the sample size is very important because, the larger the size, the more effective representation of the total population and therefore more reliable the research work will be.
As mentioned earlier, Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) question construct would be used to analyse the data collected. UTAUT was created by Venkatesh et al.; the model was built after merging eight technology acceptance models previously used by Information Systems practitioners. The model claims to provide a more complete picture than any of the previous models for example Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) etc (Awadhi and Morris, 2008).
Venkatesh theorised that the determinants illustrated in Figure number (3.2) plays an important role in user acceptance and user behavior in adopting a new technology; these determinants are further explained below.
It is important to note here that the administered questionnaire will be structured based on the determinants proposed by Venkatesh. The collected data will be tested for accuracy by running a reliability analysis. The data analysis will further present collected data in tabulations and percentage computation. Response frequency and its percentage will be presented in respect of the questionnaire distributed to the respondents.
In addition, responses that will be received from some interviewees will be presented and discussed upon. Finally, tables and figures will be presented and descriptive analysis of the contents will be made where necessary.
In this chapter the data obtained from both primary and secondary sources will be presented and analysed. Demographic responses as well as reliability of the data collected is analysed and tested using statistical software SPSS.
Additionally, the chapter will discuss general analysis of the responses that has formed part of this study before making the findings known.
This section deals with the process of transforming the raw data collected into variables that can be understood by SPSS for easy analysis. Data are rarely obtained in an immediately analysable format and usually need to be prepared before analysis (Sapsford and Jupp, 1996). As mentioned earlier in Chapter three, data will be collected through an on-line questionnaire (see Appendix A). Raw data returned from the questionnaire need to be converted to a numerical format before they could be analysed.
Secondly, the reliability of the questions formed for the survey has to be tested for consistency by running a reliability analysis test to ensure a more rational analysis.
All the data collected from surveymonkey were imported into SPSS and all responses were converted into numerical data. This was made easier as the responses option was coded utilising Likert Scale and each response was tagged with a numerical value for easy analysis. The incomplete responses retured were deleted.
Reliability analysis is used to measure the reliability of a summated scale where several questions are added to form a total score. We should recall that in chapter three, it was mentioned that the UTAUT questions construct will be modified and used to construct the questionnaire for the study. UTAUT model consist of a set of questions that form a summated scale (see appendix A). The internal consistency of the items forming the scale if tested should be above 0.700 to provide a reliable measure of reliability (Pallant, 2005).
In addition, the test also provides an avenue which identifies a variable that impact negatively to the total reliability of a summated scale. In such a case, the variable identified will provide a better reliability to the summated scale when excluded.
As the result shows (Table 4.1), 85% of the construct passed the reliability scale mark. However, the value of the following constructs fall below the required mark of .700, thus the following actions will be taken.
What this analysis is proving to this study is that to have an accurate analysis, data collected should be reliable. To achieve this point some questions proposed in the questionnaire may have a negative effect which is the objective of this test. It is apparently clear that the researcher has now identified questions in the ‘self Efficacy’ category will be neglected and data obtained in the category will not be used in analysing data.
Data presentation in this study includes presenting a general overview of the dispersion for the responses collected. It would also present relevant data collected that would help highlight the path in answering the research questions. In total, 56 respondents from the public and 54 responses from Company X have successfully completed the administered questionnaire. However some respondents omitted some questions which will be noticed when tabulating the number of responses. All the analysis that will be carried out will be based on these set of two sources. Due to space availability and document organisation, not all data collected will be presented, majority will be data obtained from the public. Data collected from Company X will be discussed where it shows significant effect.
This section will present a summarised detail of all respondents who have partaken in this study. Tables 4.2 and 4.3 highlights gender and age distribution for both the public and case study company respondents.
As seen from Table 4.2 the population of men in the sample compared to women is more than 50% in both the public and the case study. We should note that it is more like social occurrence that more men are found in the work force than the number of women found.
The age distribution in the sample is very interesting (Table 4.3). The data collected from the two sources have shown that employees in age groups of 20’s and early 30’s made up about 50% of the total responses. This demonstrates the interest of this age group in emerging technologies, especially social media.
A question was posed to determine to what extent the respondents have familiarity on some basic Web 2.0 tools as defined earlier in Chapter 2. The same set of questions was presented to employees of Company X but an additional question was inserted to refer to Microsoft SharePoint which the firm has just deployed. It was important to figure out how familiar employees are with Enterprise 2.0 tools as it helps determining how E2.0 has penetrated the work environment.
The summary of the results for familiarity of Enterprise 2.0 tools from the public and Microsoft SharePoint from Company X is presented in Table 4.4 and 4.5 respectively.
It is apparent from Table 4.4 that most employees that took part in the survey are familiar with Instant Messaging (IM) tool and social networking tool. This can be attributed to the fact that IM and social networking tools have been very popular with commercial use i.e. Skype and Facebook, thus employees have been familiar with them before it was introduced in the work place. This is because social networking and IM tools had since become a way of socialising and communicating with friends and families outside the organisation.
However, in Company X the group which uses SharePoint is similar in size to that which does not (table 4.5). It was surprising that many employees said they heard of SharePoint but have not used it; could the reason be because it is a new tool just being deployed? Or could it represent the categories of employees that have no interest in new technology?
These questions raised need to be further investigated. The company had organised a workshop to enlighten employees on SharePoint. Despite doing that over 50% of the employees are yet to have used the new tool. In an interview with the IT manager, she stressed out that despite enlightening employees, not many have utilised it to the company’s expectation. She further added that an expense claim policy was later enforced to all teams to use SharePoint forms to make remittance request. This she said increased employee awareness and usage of SharePoint. Her claim was not able to be verified by this study as data was already collected before implementing the new policy. This achievement of enforcing business policy on certain areas as done in Company X can be a mean by which organisations can exercise to increase user acceptance of new technologies such as E2.0 tools.
In analysing the data collected for this study based on the UTAUT model questions (see Appendix A) were presented to the respondents which formed the Performance Expectancy aspect of the model. The set of Performance expectancy questions was expected to identify the degree to which employees believe that using the Enterprise 2.0 tools will help them to attain gains in job performance. Table 4.6 represents the computed response received from the general public.
From the results presented in Table 4.6 it can be deduced that about 85% of employees agree that utilising E2.0 tools is useful in performing their jobs. The results also show clearly that none disagree with the fact that E2.0 tool is useful in the work place. The result also confirms that E2.0 increases productivity of employees which was one of the factors organisations are trying to understand before they accept E2.0.
Based on the percentage of respondents who strongly agree to how E2.0 is useful to their jobs, we can easily predict that E2.0 tool will rapidly become popular as tools in which employees use in their work place. This supports the claim by Gartner’s report that in 2009 one in two companies will be using E2.0 tools. The respondents seem to be neutral in terms of agreeing that using E2.0 tools will increase their chance of a pay rise, this was because employees at non-managerial level hardly know the consequences of such actions.
Four sets of questions were asked which formed the Effort Expectancy on employees on adopting E2.0. The set of effort expectancy questions is intended to identify the degree of ease associated with the use of the E2.0 by employees. Table 4.7 presents the outcome.
As seen in Table 4.7, more than 80% of employees agree that using E2.0 tools was easy; they further agree that learning new enterprise 2.0 tools was easy for them. Looking at the age distribution in table 4.3, it is clear that most respondents are in the age group of 20’s – 30’s. This could be the factor for agreeing so much to the questions presented above, as these groups are very up-to-date with emerging technologies that formed the background of E2.0 tools. This finding agrees with (Eschelbeck, 2009) who said the young generation of our time depends on social-networking to organise their lives and interact with colleagues for example using blogging sites and social software tools.
Contrary to the above, in Company X, the response to the similar set of question (see Appendix B) were mostly neutral. About 50% of them said they did not know if it will be easy to use or learn SharePoint. It is interesting to highlight that during the obsevation of Company X as they were learning to use SharePoint, it was observed that learning was not easy for them. They could not get a clear understanding of the tool despite the fact that over 50% of employees were of the same age group 20’s and 30’s. This group of employees found commercial collaboration and networking tools easy to use, but are finding it difficult to useSharePoint.
There are various companies in the market producing E2.0 tools for organisations, SharePoint being just one of them. Other products may just be as confusing and difficult to learn as their architecture might not be the same as the commercial tools that are much easier to learn. It is concluded that the simplicity of learning E2.0 tools will depend on user experience and interest.
The results show that the interest of employees in using E2.0 is very high and employees find it interesting working with these new tools. However, the result represent individual opinion and ot that of the organisation. Interestingly, the result obtained from Company X proved otherwise (see appendix B, Table 3), over 50% of the employees at Company X did not agree that using SharePoint will be interesting and did not agree that it would make their work fun. These attitudes easily lead to the outcome of making it difficult to learn and use SharePoint for them as discussed earlier. In conclusion, the result also proved and supported (Cook, 2008) statement in the literature review that if an organisation enforces employees to utilise a tool, they will barely get the result they expected. This also confirms the fact that employee interest is a vital factor to make adoption and implementation of E2.0 a success.
In organisations where E2.0 tools have not been introduced, employees who already find using the tools to be fun and believe they make their work more interesting start using them at work anyway. In these circumstances when the organisation formally introduces E2.0 tool, they are bound to easily by-pass the hurdle of orienting employees into accepting the new system.
The contradictory opinions we receive from the two sets of data (public and the company X) can be due to the the specific attributes of SharePoint and not necessarily the general opinion of Enterprise 2.0 tools. Unfortunately due to the limited time and resurces avaialble we were unable to find more than one company which has implemented Enterprise 2.0 tools. If the data from the private sector came from more than one company we may have been able to come to a more reliable conclusion.
Social influence analysis tends to find out the degree to which employees perceive how important others in their work place influence how they should use Enterprise 2.0 tools. To find these answers, the following questions were presented and the outcomes were as shown in Table 4.9.
The result shows that over 60% of employees feel that they are influenced by their colleagues who think they should use E2.0 tool. They also agree that the management in their organisation have been supportive and not restrictive on using E2.0 tools despite the use of them not been officially approved.
In an informal discussion with some sales employees of Company X, it was gathered that using Facebook and Twitter was a common practice in marketing and advertising products. Although it is not recognised and approved by the management. There were no restrictions in using these tools as long as they did not damage the reputation of the company. Organisations who do not restrict employees in using commercial social networkng tools especially for personal networking, marketing company products and customer support purposes are indirectly influencing employees to continue working with the tools. The result is inclined towards a report by Nielsen Norman Group in 2009. Norman’s reported that many of the most successful social media initiatives in companies start as unauthorised, and later are officially recognised and approved by the business when their value is recognised.
Facilitating conditions analysis examines the degree to which employees think that organisational and technical infrastructure exists to support the use of E2.0 tools. To find out if employees are well equipped with the necessary facilities and support, the following questions were presented to them and the result is presented in Table 4.10. These supports could be in form of training, technical support etc.
The result from Table 4.10 also confirms that many respondents agreed that their organisations had the necessary resources to support employees as they are moving to implement E2.0. Majority of them however did not know if E2.0 tools were compatible with software they already use in the workplace. In a similar result collected from Company X (see appendix B Table 5), the outcome was more on the negative side. More than 50% of employees in Company X said they did not have or did not know if they had the knowledge to use SharePoint. In addition they said SharePoint was not compatible with the old system they collaborated on which was basic intranet software developed in-house.
The issue of system compatibility was observed by the researcher in Company X, where the issue of employees being unable to integrate SharePoint with various tools like email, shared documents and team calendars was very high. In addition to these issues there were few supportive administrators who could have assisted the employees to sort out these problems. This was also evident in their responses as very few respondents agreed that there was someone available to assist in terms of difficulties. This issue caused many employees to reluctantly ignore using the tool.
As stated in Section 4.3.3 it is increasingly becoming clear that the disparity between the two sets of data is mainly due to organisational issues specific to Company X, rather than to the private sector in general. It became apparent during our observation of Company X, and the results of the employee survey that technology adoption strategy of the company is not carefully constructed. Although training has been given, the other supporting infrastructure seems to be lacking. The employees do not seem to perceive Sharepoint as an improovement over the technology which was already being used in the company and hence see it as a value adding tool. This might be the root cause behind the negativity which came throught their response to the survey questions.
As one of the objectives of this research is to identify the means by which organisations will successfully implement E2.0, it can be concluded that providing seamlessly integration of E2.0 tools with the existing system is acrucial factor for user acceptance. It is also important that adequate support is provided for employees, especially technical support as with any other new tehchnology.
This section is aimed at bringing the research questions into light and to look into how the analysis has helped to provide answers to them. The following questions were the motive behind carrying out this research.
The study has revealed that some organisations lack the technical skills and human resources to make E2.0 useful to them, thus making them inexperienced. It is proven that E2.0 provides benefits, but to get these benefits organisations need to make sure that they have the necessary skills to reap them. Organisations may want to implement it but the fear of failure which is attributed to implementation is that causing them to progress slowly.
Another issue identified is security concerns. Organisations fear that information used over E2.0 tools in difficult to control and thus puts the enterprise at risk. However the methods by which the contents can be controlled are on the increase. These methods include automated moderation, reputation systems, and other approaches. Organisational best practices must be developed to deal with security in an explicit manner which will increase user and organiational confidence in the technology used.
Being a new approach to communicating and collaborating in the enterprise, E2.0 also lacks a generic framework for adoption. This is however beginning to emerge as practitioners are evaluating what went right and what went wrong.
From the data analysis it is clear that training of employees and educating them is a vital factor to adopting E2.0. In addition age plays a role as we have seen in the case of Company X where the younger employees are at the fore front of learning and using E2.0 compared to the older workers. The younger respondents proves that they are more enlightened on E2.0. The older workers are more resistant as even less than 40% respondent to the questionnaire. Their action can be linked to the fact of not being too familiar with commercial social networking tools as compared to the younger employees as discussed earlier in this Chapter. Having implementation framework that suites an organsations culture can ensure that implementation is carried out with out a hassle.
As evident in the case of Company X, whereby employees had issues with integrating SharePoint with their old systems. Also the shortage of technical staff hindered employee’s acceptance of SharePoint. Even when employees are intrested to use the new system presented to them, they can easily be turned off and loose interest when they find low support. The implementation process for Company X has ignored to provide adequate support for their employees.
A survey presented by Gartner stated (Gartner, 2008) that E2.0 is at the disillusionment (see figure 2.3) stage in the hype cycle. This study proved otherwise. From the interview carried out it was revealed that some organisations are still at the verge of adopting E2.0. Even those that have implemented E2.0 they are yet to utilise it completely. With various seminars of E2.0 attracting lots of blue print companies it can be concluded that the stage at which E2.0 has evolved is still at the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ stage. In comparison to Gartners report this studys shows the evolution stage is a step behind what Gartner reported. It further fails to agree with Gartners point of view which reported that E2.0 has fallen to the diillusionment stage(Gartner, 2008). Gartners report has received critism as not being authentic as we have discussed in Chapter two.
To summarise the current state of Enterprise 2, Dr. Frank Schanefeld in an interview before speaking at the E2.0 FORUM in Cologne in Febuary 2009 said ‘We are at the dawn of an emergent technology’ (Enterprise 2.0 Open Blog community, 2009).
Therefore the Gartner’s report, which claims E2.0 has been hyped already does not hold true according to this study.
The interviews carried out was semi structured. The aim of the interview was to bridge the gap between the objectives of the study and the questionnaire developed. It was carried out randomly with different employees in Company X. Another set of interview was carried out via the telephone to employees of Microsoft USA, Cisco UK, Lockheed Martin USA and Virtusa Sri Lanka.
The interviews were done after a notification was sent to the interviewee and a positive response is received via email (See appendix C for sample email correspondence). The interview usually started by formal introduction then introducing the research topic being studied. The following presents responses from the interviews carried out.
The interviewees generally had a good impression on E.2.0 utilisation within the organisation, some of them like Kirk Evans state the role of Microsoft said
‘I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any of them (companies) that know what E2.0 is, let alone admit that they are in the middle of it.’
Kirk Evans also said his job entails talking with media corporations and telecommunication companies, he further explained;
‘….none of them (Companies he talks too) care about E2.0 because it’s not tangible. If they see a way to use technology to increase revenue or decrease cost, they will invest.’
This statement refers to companies who theoretically do not believe in technological hypes and buzz words. These companies will certainly adopt a technology as long as it reduces cost or increase revenue to them. Almost every firms objective is to do the same, cut cost and increase revenue. It is concluded that it will take time for these firms to realise that they are actually using the tools of what they claim they are ignorant of.
Process Improvement Manager for Company X said
‘…I think it is too early for us to know how far we have implemented, we have an implementation framework and we are exactly where we are suppose to be.’
Company X has developed an implementation framework to measure benefits they have and will achieve from E2.0; their implementation plan is following a top-down approach. From the observation carried out on Company X, it was evident they had an implementation framwork, but they did not take into consideration some factors like compliance and the project plan they had was not rigid. These factors are what (Hinchcliffe, 2008) called ‘enterprise context’ as we discussed in Chapter two, according toHincliffe, he said E2.0 lacks an implementation framework that has captivated issues of this kind, just as observed in Company X.
This study agrees with Hinchcliffe statement as evident from the observation of the case study firm.
It is important to assess the mood of employees when introduced to a new system to wok with. Their mood can determine how successful the tools will work for the organisation. To find out how employees reacted when organisations introduced E2.0 tools, the question was raised and the responses were as follows;
One interviewee from Cisco said
‘It wasn’t difficult for us to accept it, we had been collaborating with in-house software way back and our employees are trained constantly on emergent technologies’
It was no surprise that Cisco employees accepted new collaboration tools easily. Being a technology leader in its industry and also an Enterprise 2.0 enthusiasts, Cisco also produces a suite of collaboration tools after it bought the company called ‘WebEx’ in 2007.
An interviewee from NIC systems who was responding to how they were successful in comfortably implementing ‘Zimbra’ a collaboration tool in their firm said ‘…it’s all part of a cultural issue for us, nothing to do with technology, but more to do with changing our employees habits into increasing their productivity, having access to more experts and more relevant information and knowledge.’
It is concluded that organisation culture also plays a vital part in determining how E2.0 systems are accepted and used. A company that has been introducin dynamic change on work flow will easily adapt to new technology as compared to a staic firm that just intend to intoduce a new system. To support the cultural behaviour of organisations towards successful implementation of E2.0 systems, the case study company had never introduced an enterprise wide system change, they usually introduce systems based on departmental need. Being the first time doing so, could that be why the implementation plan is faced with gliches? The study did not have much time to further investigate the question raised.
All the interviewees had one or two benefits they raised. An employee from Virtusa was skeptical about E2.0, she said ‘I do not know what you mean by E2.0′ after the researcher explained to her she said ‘I guess Microsoft Outlook saves us time and keeps us connected in the office.’
A senior Executive at Lockheed Martin said ‘… we have saved a lot of money and the staffs are happy and more productive’
Emma Marlow of Company X, a Director of Operations said
‘… with geographical time differences. I think using SharePoint will close the gap for the teams in Europe working with other teams in Malaysia. Most importantly in document development via check-in check-out’
The time difference between Europe and Malaysia is about 7 hrs. According to Emma, this makes it difficult for teams in these two locations to work together, but SharePoint is enabling them collaborate by tracking changes, reviews, RSS alerts and discussion boards concurrently from different time zones.
As observed in Company X, Emma’s vision and plan on how the SharePoint will bring competitive advantage to the company by utilising SharePoint was very positive and tangible. However, it is uncertain to conclude if the goals set by Emma will be met as the study did not have the extended time to see the outcome. It is also intresting to point out the IT department of Company X is a sole driver on adopting SharePoint. This has contradicted (Perez, 2008) statement which claimed that IT departments are the major barriers to introducing E2.0 into the firm.
This chapter described and analysed the collected data. From the findings it was observed that the benefits presented by E2.0 cannot be neglected. The popularity with E2.0 tools are growing quick and has not reached its maturity as claimed by some reports especially Gartners report.
The respondents who took part in this study have agreed significantly that E2.0 brings benefit to the work place and it also makes their work easier and much interesting. However, there are gaps to be closed, like empowering employees on how to use E2.0 systems.
The familiarity test carried out also indicated that younger employees tend to be more pro-active with E2.0 tools as compared to older workers. The barriers that restrict the expected adoption on E2.0 have been related to insufficient framework for implementation and the attitude towards emergent technology by the older workforce and the organisation as a whole.
In this chapter we discuss the main findings and conclusions and propose recommendations. It also includes a self appraisal of the researcher and describes the researchers learning experience during the course of the research.
Organisations are trying to cut cost and maximise profit. In the process of achieving this they are willing to do anything possible to meet these tasks. In addition to the many successful case studies of genuine adopters and business integration with E2.0, several IS literature emphasised on the importance and benefits of E2.0, including incresed productivity, cost saving etc
This research started out with the aim of investigating how E2.0 is being perceived and adopted in the organisation. To achieve this aim, the study developed some set of objectives (see Chapter 1.3) which guided the study towards achieving the aim.
From the analysis conducted this study found out that there are organisations whodisplay ignorance about the existence of E2.0 or what E2.0 is. Most of these organisations are already using E2.0 technologies within their corporate firewalls.
It was also observed that whether organisations accept it or not, they are either directly or indirectly involved with E2.0, this is either through their customers or through their employees. Customers are easily targeted in online social networking sites and in order to reach them a company must have to cross the boundaries of enterprise into the public community.
E2.0 is also facing difficulties of acceptance by the older generation of employees. This is causing a delay in full implementaion and evaluation in the organisations. The older generation makes up most of the managerial positioins in the corporate world and they have the power to make decisions regarding change in business process. It is evident from this study that the younger generation find E2.0 interesting but it becomes difficult and fraustrating for them to utilise the tools when management is not interested.
It was also realised that the success of E2.0 does not come from the tools it provides, but actually from the ways the tools are put into use by the end users. It was earlier argued that E2.0 makes work easier to perform, but this study has identified that E2.0 systems requires employees to be trained on how to use the tools collabrate and achieve the desired result that the enterprise expects with E2.0 systems.
Many organisations generally assume that E2.0 tools are a replication of the commercial social tools provided to the public. But in the real sense, as observed, E2.0 systems are complex and would normally require application of business logic, rules and customised security. All these features will require business planning, setting up objectives to achieve as a form of measuring benefits and progress. This does not contradict the statement that E2.0 makes work easier, what ths statement is trying to say is that E2.0 is not just an out-of-the-box solution.
With the ongoing business transformation process technologies like cloud computing and visualisation are becoming rapidly available to organisations, it is expected that E2.0 too will transform the enterprise radically. E2.0 will improve transparency, harness external innovation, and create entirely new and significant business models.
There is a lot of hype about E2.0 in the corporate world currently. Many corporate entities are from various industries are partaking in events and seminars, curious to find out about E2.0 and how they can use it. Themes from the seminars include projecting the importance and benefits of E2.0, best practices, successful case studies and products available, the most recent announced conference is on November 2-5, 2009 at San Francisco, with the theme ‘Unlocking the Business Value of Enterprise 2.0′.
According to Chief Financial Officer Magazine (CFO Research, 2009), it projected that $4.6 billion dollars will be spent on E2.0 systems by the end of 2009. It is evident that E2.0 is a technology that will shape the future of enterprise systems.
Companies that are already benefiting from E2.0 systems include Agilent Technologies, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical, IBM, Telecom New Zealand Limited, Sun Microsystems to name a few. Companies that ignore E2.0 systems wil definitely loose on competitive advantage.
This research has tried to gather as much data as possible to evaluate different scenerios where E2.0 systems are being used and how they are percieved by organisation. Hence the study carried out two forms of gathering data, it realised an enormous difference and accracy between remotely collecting data and observing an enterprise. Thus it is recommending the best way to evaluate and understand the impact and phenemenon surrounding E2.0 systems is to closely study it at the enterprise level. By studying closly a study will shed light on true user behaviour in comaprison with remote observation.
It is further recommended to study a specific E2.0 product developed by a third party and how organisations are implementing the product. A report on that scale will bring more benefits to organisation who are yet to understand the concept of E2.0 systems.
This study was unable to quantify cost related issues like amount saved and implementation cost when organisations use E2.0 systems. Thus it is recommended that future studies should evaluate and investigate financial issues related to E2.0 systems.
Organisations that are ignorant on E2.0 need to come in terms with the unconditional reality of the evolving work place. The report contained in this study can be used by organisations who intend to understand a general overview on E2.0. Organisations that are implementing will also benefit from strategic decisions carried out by the case study company observed.
The main setback of this research identified about was that of time constraint. The subject investigated is that which involves a wide population of employees and organisations around the world and in other to understand the actual phenomena, the sample size needs to be expanded. That would present the study with a broader, and more universal knowledge. It was also noted that the period the researcher sent out the questionnaire coincided with the holiday period whereby most employees were on vacation and as such could not complete the questionnaire. Therefore the time was too short to allow adequate evaluation of process investigated, especially questions raised from the study.
Additionally, observation of employees in Company X would have provided a much better report only if the study had more time observing them as they are adopting Enterprise 2.0 in their day-to-day operation. Financial constraint limited the researcher from attending useful seminars in where rich information from companies presenting their stories on Enterprise 2.0 was presented.
We used the UTAUT model questions construct to develop the questionnaire. It was also the intention of this research to attempt to investigate whether the model can be correctly applied to this research area. However, due to the limitation of available time, the statistical software could not be used to analyse the UTAUT model.
My research experience and exposure to enterprise systems has really been improved significantly. During the period of my research I stumbled upon many technologies that are currently shaping enterprise around the business world. Such technologies like cloud computing, visualisation, and enterprise security.
Most interestingly as I started my research I never imagined that I would have encountered these tools, let alone believe that I would have the oppurtunity to use them in the real world in the course of my research.
When I was planning on selecting an area to research, I was more inclined towards Database systems. But all that changed when Dr. Geetha (who would later be my supervisor) introduced Information Systems (IS) while using real world solution during a seminar. Being from a busniness management background with work experience in the IT industry, I quickly picked interest. I wanted to work on a subject that would enable me utilise both my education and work experience skills while being intresting as well.
I became intrested in Web 2.0 at first, after further studies I realised that Web 2.0 was a platform on which different technologies were developed upon. After further research and analysing current organisation technologies, I decided to focus on Enterprise 2.0 as my area of research. In an interview I attended, the employer was so excited on the topic I was researching and quickly offered me an oppurtunity to intern and observe them during their implementation phase of E2.0 system. I was not only given the chance to observe them, I was also introduced to many IS like ITIL ServiceDesk, VM Ware, Microsoft Exchange, Orion enterprise network management tool etc. These also gave me a great oppurtunity to have a 5 month work experience with a multi-national company.
The work undertaken during the period of research involved keeping up with the latest trend by reading articles and attending webminars, I am now addicted to various on-line articles, i.e ZD Net, CIO, Tech Republic and Intelligent Enterprise. I also learnt how to use SPSS statistical software to some extend during my data analysis. My time management skills was streched to the limit as I had to meet deadlines as expected by my supervisor while taking 5 hrs of my day to just commute to and from my case study site on weekdays (It was worth it). I am also proud to have managed this project independently.
My supervisor was more than helpful, her constant advise and guidance cannot be replicated. She also pointed me to the right direction whenever I felt lost and confused. She also made me improve my writing skills through her intense scrutiny of my report.
In general I really enjoyed the challenges I faced during the research period and I appreciate all the oppurtunities and the friends I made when interacting with people as I was conducting my survey.
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