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Enterprise 2.0 Review: Truly inspirational

With the first reviews of Enterprise 2.0 coming in thick and fast, I thought it would be worth highlighting and commenting on them here. I promise I won’t limit it to just positive reviews – I’m more than happy to respond to any criticism as well (although I obviously hope that will be few and far between).

First up is a review from Roy Johnson

, who maintains the excellent Mantex website which is full of excellent resources.

He summarises the book well, explaining that its purpose is to show how the techniques and concepts behind Web 2.0 application can be used to encourage collaboration efforts in secretive, competitive businesses. He comments that to succeed in modern business, managers and directors “must learn to listen and talk to their customers and staff”, be “more agile in their thinking”, “less monolithic in their practices”, and “catch up to new Internet-based activities which can sweep away unwary traditionalists overnight”.

There is one criticism though:

In fact he misses the opportunity to point out that one of the biggest incentives for companies to embrace Web 2.0 software is that much of it is completely free. Almost all major programs are now available in Open Source versions – including such fundamentals as operating systems (Linux) content management systems (Joomla) and virtual learning environments (Moodle).

In the UK, government institutions have invested and wasted billions of pounds after being bamboozled by software vendors. In the education sector alone, VLEs such as Blackboard and WebCT have proved costly mistakes for many colleges and universities. They are now locked in to proprietory systems, whilst OSS programs such as Moodle run rings round them – and are free.

It’s a good point well made. I certainly wasn’t explicit about this. I tend to find that the fact that software is open source or free (which aren’t the same thing) doesn’t make it good. It’s certainly not one of the criteria for success. Sure, it can be an incentive, but my guess is that most businesses would prefer well supported, paid for software that will meet their needs than open source, free software that might not.

Summing up, Roy says:

This is a truly inspirational book which should be required reading for managers, IT leaders, systems analysts, developers, and business strategists in any enterprise, small, medium, and especially large.

I encourage you to read his full review to draw your own conclusions.