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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Network IT vs. Enterprise IT - Adoption

In another great post by Andrew McAfee - The Impact of Information Technology (IT) on Businesses and their Leaders he discusses the value proposition of IT as compared to other general purpose technologies (GPT) such as Steam power, electric power, the transistor and the laser. Along the way, he points to some really interesting distinctions between different kinds of IT. Very interesting stuff (slightly edited):

Enterprise IT (big systems like LMS, ERP, CRM with lots of workflow built in) and Network IT (free-form technologies like blogs, wikis, flickr, provide solutions in almost precisely opposite ways. Enterprise IT is used by authorities to define new workflows, interdependencies, and decision rights up front, then impose them. Network IT creates egalitarian and free-form environments in which workflows are not specified and decision rights not allocated up front; they instead emerge over time to the extent required. ... Perhaps the most important difference between the two technology categories is that most workers welcome Network IT, and are hostile to Enterprise IT. The former give them new freedoms; the latter impose new constraints. The former let them collectively figure out how work will be done; the latter define it for them.

Definitely interesting comparison and certainly food for thought around the adoption question surrounding Web 2.0.

Tags: Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0, Adoption

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