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Tech for Tomorrow

Doug Mow

You Can't Control It, Get Used To It

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Two conferences back to back - BPM in London and Portals, Content and Collaboration in Baltimore. The first striking observation was the palpable difference in vibe between the two, which could not have been more different. Aside from the geographic and cultural differences, the technologies are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The BPM Summit focused on business efficiency, ROI, discipline and governance. It felt conservative but not stifling. Most of the content was focused on non-technical issues and getting it right from the beginning. Each session that I attended spoke to the need to define the business problem first and set metrics. See my previous blog on the event here.

By contrast, the content guys were more loose, more free flowing and more emotional. While governance and getting it right from the start were common threads, some speakers chafed at the concept of ROI for social media. In one session, Gartner's Carol Rozwell (@Crozwell) said that she disliked discussions about ROI for social media. At that point, a panel member from Booz Allen talked about using Twitter to locate trapped people in Haiti and that social media saved lives. He said, "how's that for ROI?" In addition, the Twitterati were out in force in Baltimore.

Tom Austin (@Tomaustin) gave a terrific talk about Enterprise 2.0 and getting it backwards. His point was that the enterprise should look to expose its programs to the "collective" using Web 2.0 tools, not absorb web 2.0 tools into the organization and then figure out what to do with them.

Andrew McAfee's (@amcafee) keynote focused on enterprise 1.0 traits and how we need to culturally evolve. He reiterated a common theme that social media success is inversely proportional to the size and vertical orientation of the organization.

Other common themes included "this is scary," "you can't control it, get used to it," and "the users are out there doing it on their own, how do we keep up."

This is truly a challenging time - exciting and scary at the same time. Organizations are committing to social media "whole hog." The organizational issues are overwhelming. We can either be the purveyors of change or the victims. The choice is ours.

Doug Mow blogs from a business executive's perspective about IT trends, tech news and life in the trenches of an Enterprise 2.0 transformation.

Doug Mow

#CMO of Courion Corporation responsible for all branding, communications, messaging, online and offline marketing. Courion is the leading provider of access management tools that provide maximum access to corporate IT assets with minimal risk.

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