Monday, January 18, 2010

The Vogons Have Noticed Social Media

Cisco Systems recently published a report on Social Networking in the enterprise. Its an interesting read in that the interviewees discuss how social networking is helping corporations interact better, more completely, more successfully with customers and partners. But the report also says that, though this is a nascent, just starting phenomenon sure to generate significant success, out next move should be governance and control.

Cisco's report is saying that just as Web 2.0 is establishing what amounts to a "critical mass" of business and market purpose and value our bureaucrats, our Vogons (see the bottom of the post for more), should investigate and write up their reports on appropriate control, in triplicate.

Such a suggestion would be putting the cart before the horse to Dick Nolan and Chuck Gibson. They long ago introduced the concept of sigmoid curves (of spending) to explain how organizations investigate, adopt, spread and then professionally manage new technologies in support of organizational goals.

From Wikipedia about Vogons -

The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Vogons are slug-like but vaguely humanoid, are bulkier than humans and have green skin, although the movie has them have greyish white skin . Vogons are described as mindlessly bureaucratic, aggressive, having "as much sex appeal as a road accident" and the writers of "the third worst poetry in the universe". They are employed as the galactic government's bureaucrats.

1 comment:

  1. There are countervailing forces here. Favoring control are data security considerations, something nobody worried much about back when Chuck & Dick wrote their Stages article.

    Favoring less control is that, unlike early automation, nobody in his right mind would try to predict where Enterprise 2.0 is going to get to, and its evolution is out of the hands of any individual actor. As a business (or government or not-for-profit) you can innovate and it may or may not sick. And the proprietors of the Facebooks etc. have their own ideas which also may or may not stick. (Myspace or Friendster, anyone?).

    So let's keep the Vogons out of the picture completely because they're not smart enough to address the security concerns!