Friday, 27 January 2012

Geoffrey Moore on “Systems of Engagement and The Future of Enterprise IT”

Geoffrey Moore widely known for his ground breaking and transformative analysis of technology adoption life cycle (Crossing the Chasm) provides an incisive analysis of the impact of web 2.0 technologies on Enterprise IT. In his White Paper “Systems of Engagement and The Future of Enterprise IT” he advances the notion that that “Over the past decade, there has been a fundamental change in the axis of IT innovation. In prior decades, new systems were introduced at the very high end of the economic spectrum. Now it is consumers, students and children who are leading the way, with early adopting adults and nimble small to medium size businesses following, and it is the larger institutions who are, frankly, the laggards.” He then makes a compelling case that “What is transpiring is momentous, nothing less than the planet wiring itself a new nervous system. If your organization is not linked into this nervous system, you will be hard pressed to participate in the planet’s future.”

Of particular value to IT professionals focusing on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is Geoffrey Moore’s analysis of the interrelationships between what he refers to as systems of engagement (aka social media) and systems of record. Social media wants to be free, perhaps only subject to principle-based controls, while systems of record by their very nature need to be subject to controlled processes. Social media is designed to facilitate collaborative knowledge creation processes, while systems of record are designed to transform that inchoate, subjective knowledge into re-usable best practices in the form of explicit knowledge. Such explicit knowledge is deemed a corporate asset with inherent business and informational value which must be preserved and protected as a record. Striking a balance between the transient and permanent nature of systems of engagement and systems of record is expected to create significant challenges for IT organizations.

Geoffrey Moore’s observation is that “Best practices in this new world are scarce, the pressure by the business to implement is accelerating, a generation of networked millenials is ready to enter the workforce, and connections back to the familiar world of systems of record are tenuous. Our traditional definitions of control and governance must adapt to meet the changes of this new world.” He provides highly practical and empirically validated recommendations on how to effectively integrate systems of engagement into systems of record. He concludes that “The challenge now is that organizations must redefine how they deal with these issues and extend how they think about control and governance in order to deal with social technologies that are much more distributed, informal, and ubiquitous than anything that we have known previously.”

Hope you will find the White Paper informative and helpful.

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