Consulting in Enterprise 2.0 – can it ever be standardized?

This Enterprise 2.0 thing could be big in 2008, will it be big for consultants too?

enterprise 2.0 hits the mainstream

Picture via Thomas Purves, who also asks whether this will be really big or just another quickly-forgotten fad (complete with overheated aspirations, IT-centerfolds of the month etc.). And indeed some cooling might help. So when Jevon asks: “Enterprise 2.0: Where the f$#@ is my market?“, this is not a totally rhetorical question, but can help in clarifying social software business cases, line of thoughts and and consulting approaches.

So what have we got – there are examples of companies profiting from enterprise social software like wikis. And yes, the numbers are still small, even when adoption rates are raising. But I wonder if a market and a need is there, but it’s rather a a different market? It does not care for standard and “out of the box”-solutions (yes, I know, all them can be tweaked, customized and all) – but deep thought about customer requirements, needs and wishes, i.e. customer specific consulting. And that doesn’t scale well, in fact I doubt if it can be standardized and replicated after all.

Even if there are a lot of big consulting companies jumping on the bandwagon, independent, specialist and freelance consultants might still be a good choice, let 2008 begin.

5 Responses to “Consulting in Enterprise 2.0 – can it ever be standardized?”

  1. Jon Husband says:

    IMO no it can’t .. nature of the beast.

    Requires combo of decent social software knowledge, good knowledge-of-organizations-and-work-design background, leadership & mgt development understanding / knowledge and OD.

    Every org’s culture and work processes and IT and talent will be somewhat different.


  2. Martin Koser says:

    Jon, I agree and like you I think that specific solutions are the best way to go for companies that want to stand out.

    Yet, I am not totally convinced that many companies will engage in this kind of strenuous company-consultant working relationship. Potential benefits are big, but so are the risks and the emotional and intellectual investment needed.

    Most of the time I try to solve this dilemma by proposing standard elements as part of the “social software implementation battle plan”, so that more budget/time might be invested both in a concise analysis of needs and “given facts” and in specific concepts & approaches.

    Bad thing is that this is a sales-killer sometimes: When people are prepared for a know-all-the-answers consultant with “the solution” (TM), being the “man with many questions” doesn’t pay.

    Let’s work together that this growing, developing but still immature enterprise 2.0 consulting market will not be captured by the standard consultant guys alone.

    Perhaps you’re interested in coming to the Hanover CeBIT’s enterprise2open event on March 9, check out – hope to see you there.

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