Enterprise 2.0 ROIs

Measuring the ROI (Return on Investment) of Enterprise 2.0 is not an easy task, simply because
Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are not ‘things’ you can measure with numbers.
Web 2.0 is already well-known and a household name, but ROI was never an issue here – because people think in terms of benefit or value, not ROI. If you see the value in updating Twitter, blogging, adding friends and poking them on facebook, sharing bookmarks or photos – you’ll do it. It’s your own investment, your own time.

But, when you want to bring Web 2.0 inside the firewall, Enterprise 2.0, there’s more to it than just time. There is a corporate investment, putting a team to explore/define the scope, persuading decision makers, running several solutions (Proof of Concept), integrating into existing applications/platforms, finding advocates/evangelists who’ll populate it, engage marketing/hr/CIO/CEO – investment. Money.

Often companies are afraid of providing its employees too much freedom with little control over what they’re saying (internally and externally). When I say that IBM has internal blogging platform for 4 years now, with 30,000 bloggers (and 250,000 readers) – people ask me if there’s any censorship or filtering on the content. No, there isn’t – we have blogging guidelines.
Richard Dennison wrote an excellent post about BT web 2.0 adoption. Richard was responsible for implmeneting BT’s adoption, and his case study is a MUST for knowledge managers and collaboration evangelists out there. Here are some excerpts from his post:

While some companies begin the impossible task of shutting out social media tools, at BT we have just completed a web ‘liberalisation’ project to make sure all our employees can access social media sites. Why? Because we see social media tools as a huge opportunity to transform the way our employees interact with each other, with ‘the company’, and with our customers, partners and suppliers. When over 4,000 of your employees voluntarily join a Facebook group called ‘BT’, it’s time to take note.

Richard goes on to describe the journey he and his team took, winning the policy makers, introducing the technology, impact on the corporate environment and lessons learnt.

…the ‘killer application’ was a social networking tool we called ‘MyPages’. MyPages (see figure 2) provided every BT person with a place on the intranet to call their own. In it they could: create web pages and allow others to edit them (wiki pages); set up photo sharing pages and file stores; set up wiki calendars; create as many blogs as they wished; and connect themselves with other people in the organisation through ‘friends’ type functionality.


A key lesson is to focus on the value social media tools can deliver rather than the risks. If you dwell too much on the risks, you’ll never leave the starting gates. There are risks, but the potential benefits are huge.

Richard Dennison – BT web 2.0 adoption case study.

Jon Mell also wrote about Web 2.0 ROI – cost saving or revenue growth.

Now that you’ve seen the value, benefit and return, it’s time to start yourselves. First off, it’s important to understand what Enterprise Social Software is. Your company might have other points in mind, or some of the points below – it’s not black & white.
At BT they also looked at the future workforce, Generation Y, who are using social software tools on a daily basis, and value a company that adopted such tools internally.

  • Drive innovation into products faster
  • Making the new generation more productive, more knowledgeable, faster
  • Harnessing the knowledge of the wise, before they leave/retire
  • Being more responsive to customers, with knowledge from experts you may or may not know

Enterprise 2.0 is seeping through the firewall, you can’t stop it. Want to find out to what extent? Go to facebook and see how many people joined ‘Your Company‘ group.
Now call your IBM rep and ask for a meeting.

1 Response to “Enterprise 2.0 ROIs”

  1. 1 Israel Blechman April 6, 2008 at 22:00

    Great post Dvir. I want to add another recommanded blog post:

    It was written in a blog dedicated to EMC’s social media adoption.

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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at] gmail.com



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.