He begins by saying that many of the problems of the early and largely unpopular computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) tools (such as groupware and knowledge management applications) were resolved with Web 2.0 technologies that:
-are free and easy platforms for communication and interaction (texting, email, IM, etc.)
-lack of imposed structure on workflow, decision rights, interdependencies, and information.
-have mechanisms to let structure emerge (search, tagging, etc.)
These led to new Emergent Social Software Platforms (ESSPs) such as YouTube and Facebook. ESSPs share technical features such as search, links, authoring, tagging, extensions, and signals (SLATES).
Knowledge workers can take advantage of ESSPs to help them interact with different type of colleagues. For example wikis can help strongly tied colleagues work together more effectively, social networking software can help connect weakly tied colleagues, blogs can help connect colleagues with potential ties (in part by enabling discovery), and prediction markets creates interaction between colleagues who may never form a tie.
The benefits of Enterprise 2.0 come from using features of ESPPs such as group editing, authoring (people publicizing what they know), broadcast search (people publicizing what they don’t know), network formation and maintenance, collective intelligence, and self organization (perhaps the broadest benefit).
The adoption of these new tools can raise concerns around inappropriate behavior and content, the appearance of embarrassing information, and non-compliance with laws, regulations, and policies. However McAfee contends that the benefits outweigh the risks and that most of these risks are actually decreased by Enterprise 2.0.
It may however be a long haul to adopt these new technologies in part due to our tendency to stay with the status quo even if a better solution exists. Therefore McAfee lays out six organizational strategies for Enterprise 2.0 success which includes:
-determine desired results, then deploy appropriate ESSPs
-prepare for the long haul
-communicate, educate, and evangelize
-move ESSPs into the flow (of every day work)
-measure progress, not ROI
-show that Enterprise 2.0 is valued
Towards the end of the book McAfee says he is most interested in Enterprise 2.0 because it can help organizations move from a Model 1 to a Model 2 style of behavior; from unilateral control of both the goals and the tasks used to accomplished goals to an environment where decision making is based on valid information and where “winning” is replaced with free and informed choices.
“Enterprise 2.0” is a good baseline book on a topic that by its nature needs to be further explored by web 2.0 powered discussions, such as those found on McAfee’s website and blog.