Enterprise 2.0 and Collaborative Technology

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I never talk about my former career because it was lame, but I’ve worked with IT professionals since 1995.

That feels like forever ago.

And I’ve worked with CIOs and CTOs of food, insurance, consumer packaged goods, and pharma companies since 2001.

I know. Thrilling.

Before I worked for Pfizer — where I started by supporting the infrastructure group and eventually worked with IT professionals and leaders across the global organization including the CTO and CIO — I worked closely with CIOs and CTOs of insurance companies owned by Kemper Insurance. That job was awful. I worked in Corporate HR and reported to the SVP of HR and had a dotted line to the CFO. He ran the mergers & acquisition division. When you acquire and divest insurance companies, you get to know the IT peeps pretty well. I had long nights and many drinks with IT folks.

While my career has been boring, I’ve had a few awesome experiences. I’ve been in a state-of-the-art data center that looked like something out of a spy movie. I saw how cable & sewage lines & the electrical grid meet (and fail). And I learned how an IT organization supports a pharma plant on the New Madrid fault line. The earth is always moving and IT is there — being all relevant & stuff.

Anyway, I have a little experience with IT geeks so I was excited to listen to HR Happy Hour, last week. Jon Ingham and Matt Wilkinson — two super-smart guys with amazing bona fides — talked about Enterprise 2.0 software and collaborative technology.

But as a Human Resources Generalist, I wanted to bang my head against a wall during the show. I jumped into the conversation at one point to help get a better definition of what E2.0 means. I got this.

Uhm, yeah, that definition (from me) doesn’t really capture the complete scope of Enterprise 2.0 technology according to my friends in the business — except that it kind of does. And after fifteen years of experience in Human Resources, I have learned to trust that my employees will find a way to communicate and share information without an overbearing, paternalistic software implementation.

Anyway, you don’t need a stupid career in Human Resources to have an opinion. I wonder what you think about collaborative technology? Must all workers be collaborative? Does the platform matter as long as work gets done? Does an investment in Enterprise 2.0 technology ever really yield results?

So many questions and I’m already bored — and we haven’t even talked about the role of culture and how it impacts collaboration in the workforce.

If there’s one thing I know for a fact, I know that business leaders hate HR Technology more than they hate Human Resources itself. Keep that in mind when you respond to this post.

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