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In Search of Enterprise 2.0

It's the time of year when pundits preach and prophets of all kinds reflect on the year fleeting past and the one to come. So it's no surprise to see a slew of predictive data hit the inbox.

Example: Goldman Sachs' annual note on its corporate IT spending survey predicts that 2007 budgets will be a bit larger than 2006, showing between 6 percent and 7 percent growth. Leading the trends that will "destabilize the status quo" in IT products and services is something the financial firm calls the "emerging theme of Enterprise 2.0."

Now, I'm hip to the term "Web 2.0," more or less, but "Enterprise 2.0" is a bit tougher to get a bead on. According to Goldman Sachs, Enterprise 2.0 refers to the use of technology to create better organizational collaboration among "stakeholder groups" workers, business partners, customers, and the like.

The trend involves the use of technologies such as content management, Web portals, and instant messaging to build dynamically changing sources of data that all can share. The analysts say that Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Google, and Yahoo are among the key vendors that stand to profit from Enterprise 2.0.

In a recent blog, Andrew McAfee, the associate professor at Harvard Business School who seems to have created the term Enterprise 2.0, maintains that some folk are misusing it. He stresses that his definition is heavily focused on "human interaction with technology," more than on specific tools and techniques.

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