How can you tell if you are succeeding in your campaign for adoption of new enterprise collaboration tools? How can you define that magic moment when you can breathe a sigh of relief and say “That’s the tipping point.” Metrics maybe? Sure, they are important, but for me it’s when some idea goes viral on your network. Viral, like the Old Spice guy or the BPGlobalPR twitter feed, but inside your organization.
More about that in a minute. First, it’s obvious that user adoption for collaboration tools is becoming a hot topic. Rightly so. Even with all of the transformational capabilities at our disposal – wikis, blogs, microblogging, social networking, folksonomies – and the money we are pouring into them, we are still held captive by the ” inertia of the inbox”. Try as we might to espouse and adopt the benefits of social media or web conferencing we still find ourselves caught in lengthy email threads with a dozen or more people – most of whom wish they weren’t on the CC list. Personally, as a Collaboration Solutions Architect, I am overwhelmed by a sense of irony (or hypocrisy depending on my mood) every time I exceed my inbox quota. Solving this is a huge challenge and opportunity. The benefits are apparent but not easily measured. I’ll write more on User Adoption in a later blog, but until then I highly recommend you look into The 2.0 Adoption Council. You should also see Gil Yehuda’s blog and his white paper titled “Framework for 2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise“.
Now, back to the importance of going viral. The first time I experienced information that “went viral” was in 1997 at a major pharmaceutical company. (The term “viral” actually meant something entirely different in that time and place!) A visionary in the IT department sponsored a system on the intranet for idea collection and harvesting. Continue reading