November 17, 2006 |
In the previous post, I remarked on business bookmarking as being a new, yet effective way to bring the benefits of social networking to enterprise data. The impact that the PC, networking and the Internet have had on productivity gains is something that most of us are familiar with; yet, I believe we haven’t seen anything yet.
Certainly, the ability to collate large volumes of data, run analyses and have all sources of new data and transactions on a single application have changed some of the ways that businesses run. And with that, brought significant changes in business operating models. Dell, for instance – do you think that their direct selling, lean inventory model would have been possible without the presence of these technologies? Highly unlikely.
Yet, all of this has been essentially data processing; automating the processes of collecting, collating, verifying and standardizing organizational data. Till date, we’ve seen only the rudiments of “Knowledge Processing” as opposed to data processing.
Huge amounts of managerial time in organizations, now revolves around improving knowledge; search, data mining, data sharing and other such approaches take up a significant part of a manager’s activities. This still operates on a word-of-mouth, experience based, hit or miss approach; the more you know about the organization, and where the relevant expertise is, the faster you can get access to what you need.
But even then, significant amount of time is spent communicating what you need, waiting for the response and then understanding what has been sent. This is where I expect to see Web 2.0 approaches bringing a sea change in the way organizations function; institutionalizing expertise and knowledge, making it accessible to anyone who needs to use this.
And in the process, bringing fundamental changes to the way organizations are organized.