Building Enterprise 2.0: Benefits and Risks

20 Aug

In my last post I talked about how web 2.0 tools could help ME be more efficient and productive. What about companies? Businesses are always driven by the need to save time, cut costs, build a good brand image, communicate effectively internally but also with their customers or their other branches throughout the world and so on… Integrating Web 2.0 into the office environment could help them achieve these objectives and this is called Enterprise 2.0.

What benefits can companies reap from this technology and what risks will they have to handle if they want to protect the firm and its assets?

The benefits of enterprise 2.0

  • Fostering collaboration: Web 2.0 tools can help create a bridge between different large groups of people making it easier for them to communicate and therefore collaborate. This connection helps disseminate information among employees and could lead to increased knowledge sharing. Another positive aspect of a better collaboration is that it helps employees build teamwork skills allowing each of them to work together and prevent duplication of already produced output.
  • Increasing productivity:  IDC Research found that “…knowledge workers spend 15-30% of their time seeking specific information and these searches are successful less than 50% of the time.” Through quick and easy access to resources and information, employees can save time, cut costs of fruitless searches and make better informed decision rapidly which is really important in today’s more and more knowledge-based work environment. 
  • Improving brand image: Social media are key to build your reputation and strong relationships with your customers. Interacting with your customers through social media helps them get a feel for what your business is and for who the people hiding behind the keyboard are which lead the customers to trust your company and even sometimes turn them into ambassadors of your brand that share your latest updates and retweet whatever news your announcing.

Uniqlo, a japanese apparel retailer, understood these benefits really well through the implementation of a network of blogs on a Movable Type platform to gather information about customers feedback from over 700 stores around the world. Uniqlo managed to process problems raised by their customers in real time by making information available to its employees all over the world immediately, allowing them to comment, find a solution and share it with the entire company only by using their mobile phones.

Toyota uses social media to actually involve the customers in their product development process. By organizing a vote to name the new Prius, Toyota customers or followers have the feeling that their opinion is valued and that the company care about their real needs and desires.

The risks of enterprise 2.0

  • Security: One of the greatest risks of implementing enterprise 2.0 is that confidential information could leak and spread to thousands of people within an hour, making it hard to delete it and easy for competitors to retrieve.
  •  Loss of control: Because of enterprise 2.0’s unstructured way of communication, managers sense that they are loosing control of the flow of information within their company and in the outside world. They can’t possibly stand behind each employees, not to talk about customers, to see whether they are sharing negative or misleading comments that may harm the firm reputation.
  • Reputation: A misuse of social media through inappropriate campaign or lack of responsiveness to customers interaction could hamper your customers trust and affection towards your brand.

The latter risk can be illustrated by Burger King Facebook campaign “The Whopper sacrifice”. This campaign encouraged Facebook users to unfriend 10 people to earn a free hamburger, with a notification sent to the sacrificed friends to let them know your allegiance to Burger King. Here comes a problem of value that the brand is willing to share. As appealing as a free burger sounds would you turn your back to friendship? Only 23 000 hungry and “amoral” Facebookers participated in the campaign that was disabled by Facebook after 10 days claiming that users privacy was violated through the sending of a notification to sacrificed friends.

To get the most out of enterprise 2.0 and prevent the previous risks from happening, companies must create an implementing strategy  that consists of 4 steps: Understand the business drivers of the implementation, set a framework with practical policies, establish initiatives and seed pilot projects, iterate and refine to reach an ongoing culture of enterprise 2.0.

If you want to know more about Enterprise 2.0 benefits and risks here are some other posts that I found interesting:

Enterprise 2.0 – a double edged sword

Enterprise 2.0 – Doing it right and wrong


17 Responses to “Building Enterprise 2.0: Benefits and Risks”

  1. PrapatW August 20, 2012 at 11:41 PM #

    Hi Aurelie, you’ve good examples of benefits and risks of web2.0. I think Burger King is a good example of what not to do. Even though social medias can have a strong positive effect to our brand, it can also go the other way and damage our brand instead. You need to use social medias carefully since the effect is tremendous either good or bad.


    Prapat W.

    • aureliequt August 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

      I agree with you on the fact that social media should be implemented with great care because of the number of people who can be reached in a blink of an eye. I think Burger King should have carried out some kind of market research before launching this campaign. After all social media campaigns are like any other advertising campaigns and should be thoroughly thought through.

      See you 😉

  2. sukhshans August 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM #

    Hi Aurelie,
    I was shocked after reading the campaign that Burger King came up with. The concept questioned your loyalty for a burger and in a way is funny but doing something like that on Facebook is when they crossed the line. This kept me thinking on the situations where companies use social media in such a way that they look “evil” or bad.

    -Sukshan Sakdsrinarang

  3. Matt08H August 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM #

    Hi Aurélie,
    While I think the tagline and concept of Burger Kings offer is quite interesting, I think they went the wrong way about it. I competition more like those we see commonly now asking something along the lines of “what would you give up for a Whopper?” rewarding the best response or number of responses with one, or even a few, provided they followed through with what they said they would give up.

    – Matt

    • aureliequt August 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM #

      Hi Matt,

      I agree with the fact that they could have use their idea but in a more subtle way.
      What you said made me think about a french TV commercial for Golden Grahams cereal where a teenager asked a friend to do stupid things like “Would you sing dressed as a girl in a middle of a shopping center?”. At first he wouldn’t do it but then the “key line” was to say “And for some Golden Grahams?” and of course the challenged friend ended up doing it.
      Burger King could have used the same kind of idea and simply ask their fans how far they could go to have a Whopper or as you said what would they be willing to give up for it.

  4. 2ndweb August 22, 2012 at 10:13 PM #

    Wow I had no idea about the Burger key case – thanks for sharing. Well written post!!

  5. dannymoralesqut August 22, 2012 at 11:04 PM #

    Hi Aurelie, amazing post, the Burger King example is very interesting and totally useful to explain the risks that could be involved in the Enterprise 2.0 world. I agree with you about the ways to prevent risks, and as I said in my blog if you want to have success, you have to take the risk. Anyway the companies can handle the risks and mitigate them, so I think that with the benefits that companies got definitely worth to take the risk.

    • aureliequt August 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM #

      Hi Danny,

      You are right. I would add that the greater the risk you take the greater the reward you can expect.

  6. shaungoossens August 23, 2012 at 7:39 PM #

    Hi Aurelie,
    Awesome post, the burger king example was interesting as it seems they themselves had no intention to pull the plug but Facebook did. It looks like facebook would also be getting negative feedback from burger kings stunt.
    Also thank you for the link back!

  7. spendrick August 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM #

    Hi Aurelie,
    Nice post! I agree with your statement about the misuse of social media, it could be potentially damaging to your personal brand or a companies brand. I also never heard of the campaign that Burger King was running.

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Adam Hijazi August 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM #

    Hi Aurelie,

    I thought you covered the risks part of this particularly well. Nicely written post – the examples you chose were informative and entertaining. Good work.

  9. Jacques Kerguelen - Enterprise 2.0 consultant August 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM #

    Hi Aurelie,

    I like your post; really clear and well written!

    I consider that the building of a connection with the customers and/or fans is a great advantage to Web 2.0. In the case of music, great strategies have been followed by artists and their marketing team to engage their audience:

    U2 use to take high-resolution pictures from the stage in all of their concerts and then they will post the picture in Facebook and encourage their following to find and tag themselves in the crowd. This would create a closer relation fan-artist and viral marketing for the band, as for each tag, a user is sending to their Facebook contacts the photo of the U2 concert – Fancam info (the 360° High Resolution Camera):

    Also, Juanes (Colombian singer and songwriter very popular in Latin-America), made his second-last cover album (P.A.R.C.E) with millions of small pictures from his fans and anybody could look into the picture in Facebook, zoom in, find and tag oneself! What better way of connect with his fans than make them be a part of his album cover through a social web call! –


    • aureliequt August 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM #

      Hi Jacques!

      What an awesome idea U2 had! And thank you for transposing Enterprise 2.0 strategy to the music industry, it is really interesting to look at this subject from a different angle than only consumer goods or services companies.

  10. paulbrouard August 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM #

    Hi Aurelie !
    I really liked your post, well written with accurate examples 🙂
    I wonder if a social media strategy for an entreprise can preserve it from any loss of control? I have the feeling that as soon as an enterprise implements Web2.0 there is always a part of risk, regardless of the strategy. What do you think?

    If you have time to spend, check out my blog as well!

    bye 🙂

    • aureliequt August 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM #

      Hi Paul,

      I agree that there is ALWAYS risks coming with the use of Web 2.0 tools. Even if you carried out research before, you have a well defined strategy and some back up plans, you can’t possibly think of all the potential outcomes of your Enterprise 2.0 implementation.
      That’s why it is important to monitor this implementation and to react quickly as soon as something moves away from your main goal.
      But I think that the more risk you take the more successful you can be. Have a look at this article about Oreo’s Facebook post to support the Gay Pride. They chose to communicate on a very sensitive and controversial topic but it ended up attracting some 36,000 comments and 1million more fans. So I think it was worth taking the risk 😉


  1. Enterprise 2.0 ROI: A sticky discussion « AURELIE @QUT - September 10, 2012

    […] an Enterprise 2.0 strategy has many benefits. Fostered collaboration, increased productivity, and improved brand image are examples of positive […]

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