In my last post, Peter Williams from Deloitte talked about bypassing his CIO to help get Enterprise 2.0 tools (PBwiki in this case) through the door.
I’ve recently been thinking about the different ways to justify Enterprise 2.0, and the most natural to me seems to be one that fits with Peter’s thinking – find a way to do it at very low cost and ask for forgiveness later.
Peter had some great tales to tell about his battles with his CIO, and some analogies/tactics he’s used to get around the problem.
First of all, if your fight with the business is about ROI – your fight with IT is about control. The CIOs wanting to ‘ban’ social software are the same people who wanted to ban external email and internet access, now seen as critical business tools.
Peter made some great points around this:
- In a meeting / brainstorming, it is natural to stand up, pick up a pen and draw on a whiteboard / flipchart. What would it be like if you had to go and get three levels of permission before doing this and make a business case for your actions?
- Exploit this technology rather than hide from it. Facebook, for example, is a free collaboration system, with a high level of adoption. Yet it is banned! What Peter has managed to do is to build a Facebook application whereby any job vacancies can be advertised through employees Facebook network. And there’s an Aus $5,000 reward if the job gets filled via you! How long would it take and how much would it cost to build and populate such a system from scratch, yet Facebook gives it to you for free!
- Facebook is not under the CIO’s control – that’s the problem. Ask the people scared of controlling collaboration how they currently control face to face conversations. Wikis or instant messaging can be moderated, audited, transparent and are logged. Face to face conversations are none of these – what is the CIO doing to crack down on face to face conversation?
Personally, I can’t wait to try the crack down on face to face conversation line with the next Norman Naysayer I meet!