SOURCE: Burton Group

December 11, 2007 16:53 ET

Burton Group Report Identifies Four Essential Elements to Assure Enterprise 2.0 Success

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - Burton Group, an IT research firm focused on enterprise infrastructure technologies, published a report that recommends how Enterprise 2.0, a collection of organizational and IT practices, can help businesses achieve better performance and address human capital management needs.

In the report, "Enterprise 2.0: Collaboration and Knowledge Management Renaissance," principal analyst Mike Gotta says the growing business focus on innovation and growth, coupled with nontraditional workplace expectations from next-generation employees, are forcing organizations to look at Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0) as more than a catchphrase.

"Business strategists are rethinking the fundamentals of work -- how works gets done -- how work should be organized -- the culture necessary to catalyze innovation -- and the workplace environment necessary to attract and retain the best talent. These trends are transforming past assumptions about how to approach collaboration and knowledge management efforts," says Gotta.

Burton Group believes successful Enterprise 2.0 efforts will help organizations establish flexible work models, visible knowledge-sharing practices, and higher levels of community participation. In the report, Gotta highlights four key design qualities that are essential for Enterprise 2.0 success:

Personal Value:

People have their own reasons for participating in social applications. The system should reciprocate by supporting the personal value needs of that individual. For example, social bookmark systems make it easy for users to assign their own meaning (via tags) to information and categorize information in a manner that makes sense to them.


Participation within a social application is often informal, but that type of serendipity can become the catalyst for brainstorming, problem solving, and innovation. For example, XML feeds allow "many eyes" to monitor changes made to blogs or wikis. Removing inappropriate walled gardens enables a higher level of transparency that can deliver organizational insight and feedback to blog authors or wiki editors. To encourage contributions, the system should be as transparent as possible, impose few rules (adhering to security or compliance demands), and limit assumptions based on preconceived roles. Lowering barriers to participation will generate exponential values interactions grow across permissioned members.


The system should enable joint ownership, information sharing, relationship building, and support multiple levels of trust (e.g., via permission models). For example, a wiki becomes a more credible resource if it has passionate contributors, objective editors, and an open vehicle to resolve content debates. A social network site becomes a more credible resource when it has governance mechanisms allowing people to manage their persona and relationship information. The system must capture data about what goes on within the community then make combinations of that data available to other participants based on permission models and in the context of a given activity.

Platform Centric

Fragmentation of social applications across disconnected infrastructure limits value (e.g., integration, overlap, and conflicting tools or incompatible plug-ins). Design constructs implemented in a platform-centric manner exploit centralization of data and metadata and analysis of that information. Strategists should look at the openness of a platform as well as the ecosystem of other products and services around it when assessing Enterprise 2.0 solutions.

In a complimentary Burton Group TeleBriefing, principal analyst Mike Gotta facilitates a discussion on the challenges and benefits of social media in the enterprise with Anil Dash, chief evangelist of Six Apart, and Chris Howard, VP and director of Burton Group.

About Burton Group

Since 1990, Burton Group ( has provided research and advisory services helping Global 2000 organizations make smart enterprise architecture decisions. Burton Group provides a suite of context-oriented analysis and a proprietary IT Reference Architecture covering security, identity management, application platforms, service-oriented architecture, network and telecom, collaboration, content management, and the data center. Uniquely focused on the need of IT buyers rather than technology providers, 85% of Burton Group's revenue comes from end-user organizations.

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