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9 Reasons Why You Might Be Experiencing Enterprise 2.0 Adoption Challenges

Posted by on June 10, 2011

I’ve been noticing a few common elements around organizations that are having trouble with adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies.  Adoption is oftentimes the greatest challenge that organizations are faced with.  The first thing many people want to do is immediately find a solution.   However, it is not possible to find a solution without first understanding the problem and why it happening to being with.  It’s just like a chess game.  You can’t create a position and hand it to someone and say, “ok, move.”  You need to look at the board first and see what’s going before you know what the proper next move is.  Only after you understand the problem can you begin to create a solution.  I have seen a few reasons for why adoption levels might be weak amongst employees, if you have others to add then please share them below.

Here are some of the challenges I am seeing around enterprise 2.0 adoption:

  • The platform itself is too hard or confusing to use and thus employees just don’t use it
  • Employees might not be aware that the platform even exists (this was the case for one of the largest hotel chains on the Vegas strip)
  • The value of using such a platform(s) is unclear
  • There is a lack of training and education
  • The corporate culture just does not support collaboration and thus even though the proper vendor is selected and training is provided, employees still do not use the solution
  • Perhaps expectations of employees was not met, oftentimes these initiatives start out strong but overtime resources are diminished, feedback isn’t implemented as often as it once was, and the usage begins to decline.
  • Employees don’t see anyone else engaged in the platform and thus even if they themselves find it useful the, “nobody else is using it, why should I?” mentality prevents them from using it
  • There is a perception that using a collaboration platform will mean additional work outside of an already busy workday
  • Fear of security forces the platform to be so restricted and structured that employees do not want to use it

Obviously, not all organizations are experiencing these challenges and I’m sure there are plenty of organizations that are experiencing none of these challenges.  Every company I speak with, interview, or work with, always sheds some additional insight and ideas on adoption and implementation of social and collaborative tools and strategies within their enterprise.  I have yet to meet two organizations that are very similar in their approach, challenges, deployments, and strategies.

Have you seen any other challenges to enterprise 2.0 adoption?

  • Great post, I enjoyed ready reading it, Keep
    posting good stuff like this.

  • @Jacob. Great post. We face similar challenges working with internal workforce communities and social business deployments. I think one key driver to enabling social business adoption and participation is driving HR policy to incorporate enterprise wide PBC measures that motivate employees to embed the use of tools within their daily workflows.

    To be successful, business units and HR need to significantly accelerate defining, developing and supporting social business jobs that support busy sales and delivery teams. This is a critical topic that is discussed little in regards to overcoming the individual and organizational obstacles all organizations face. Wonder others thoughts on this…

  • That article is so interesting and makes a very nice image in my mind. Thank you for sharing this info with us!

  • Yes man! You have a clue! Nice acticle! Thanks!

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  • Yep – those all sound familiar!
    The main one for me, which hooks into lots of these, is simply no clear objective. In fact that main thing we’ve heard from recent client interviews is “i’m just not sure what i’m supposed to be using it for”
    And build on bullets 5 and 7; there is often no-one from senior leadership actually championing use of the platform; walking the walk, not just saying it’s a good idea

  • Great post, I enjoyed ready reading it, Keep posting good stuff like this.

  • oh… those reasons are really good!

  • First, I tend to take a task analysis approach. On an
    individual level, the new tool must be as easy or easier to use than the social
    tools he or she has used to date (email, telephone, break room bulletin board).
    If the user can complete the same task with the same effort AND at least comprehend the potential future
    residuals of having had that work “captured” in the public timeline,
    then that user will likely try that course once. One positive transaction
    breeds another. Seven breeds a habit.

    Second, I turn to the idea of “influencers” and the impacts a hierarchical corporate
    structure has on the term. While the tactical player at the base of the pyramid
    can be influential through hard work, persistence, or lucky break, those
    further up are clout-advantaged starting day one. So while those same elements —
    work, persistence, and luck – affect influence equally regardless of starting
    point, it is those in the management layers who can most effectively leverage
    their capital for the prosperity of an innovation.

    The irony here is that many in management achieved their positions
    leveraging the old comfortable tools (email, telephone, break room bulletin
    board), generous doses of work, persistence, and luck, and a necessarily
    competitive approach to peer relationships.

    So much of this is restating the fantastic bullets you’ve
    set out above.

    If I could add a single adoption challenge that captures
    this perspective on the issue, it would be the lack of a transparent compensation
    algorithm that rewards the real enterprise influencers for risking a new collaborative
    habit AND penalizes them for acts
    of hoarding.