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The Gap Between the Consumer Web and the Enterprise

Posted by on May 7, 2013

Much of what we are seeing in the enterprise is being fueled by the consumer web.  For example if there would have been no Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin, chances are there would be no Jive, Yammer, Chatter, or any other enterprise collaboration platform.  The behaviors we exhibit on social media channels are also making their way into the enterprise.  For example we can easily use social media to: create communities, easily find people or information, share our ideas and insights, ask for help or get advice, create and share content, and get access to people and information anytime, anywhere, and on an device (among other things).  The same cannot be said for many enterprises around the world.  In fact there is a large gap between the consumer web and the enterprise (which is trying to catch up!).

The image below looks at some of the different characteristics of the consumer web and the enterprise and the gap that exists between the two.

Mind the gap

The next couple years are going to be very interesting as organizations start to invest more resources into enterprise collaboration and future of work initiatives.  It’s clear that business leaders around the world are understanding that the way we work is evolving and that they need to adapt.  It’s still early in the game and we still have a long way to go in the innovation adoption life-cycle but we are moving in the right direction.

The gap above isn’t one that can’t be bridged nor does it need to be 100% on par with what is happening in the consumer web but our organizations can’t be THAT far behind (and thankfully some aren’t).  What I’m finding is that the first step is always the hardest, in other words committing to change and moving forward with that commitment.  As I always say, you can’t learn how to swim by watching Youtube videos, eventually you are going to have to get in the pool and when you do, you will find that you learn and adapt much quicker.

Here’s to closing the gap and learning how to swim.



  • you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one, Jacob. And the faster the consumer world moves, the more pressure put on corporate executives. BYOD and the pressure to apply social collaboration are just a few of the many items on the plate of today’s CIOs

    • Thanks Michael. Sorry it took so long to reply here, I just saw the comment. We’re actually doing some very interesting research on BYOD which will be out in a few months and I’ll make sure to share it with you!