Enterprise 2.0 and legacy system integration.

By Poul Hebsgaard posted 09-29-2010 11:36



Over the summer I have many interactions with C-level executives in public agencies, universities and private companies about the concept of Enterprise 2.0 or in layman’s terms the use of the emerging social media tools in public and private organizations to complement existing legacy systems.

People need to get their “work done” and stick-on notes attached to paper documents as well as “chicken scratch” comments directly on paper documents flowing through the white collar process flow are not that efficient; BUT that was all we had until the document flow went electronic and the social media tools emerged. People just started using them because it helped them getting their work done faster and better.

Similarly to when the PC emerged  in the early 1980’s people just started applying these tools without control and directions from IT, supervisors, records managers, etc… because they served a purpose and made “getting the work done” more efficient.

Issues such as “when is an information exchange material enough” to be formally recorded as a record to satisfy regulatory compliance and for the purpose of later eDiscovery and Freedom of Information Act scrutiny were and in most cases I have seen today is not being addressed adequately. Use of social media tools from the public domain leaves the information exchange with no connection to the business process making eDiscovery and FOIA requests very difficult to satisfy.

One way to deal with this issue is to ban social media altogether and it is being done in some organizations either through policy, threats and outright attempts to block access.

Fortunately many vendors of legacy systems such as case management, ECM systems, HR systems, accounting systems, project management systems, etc. are adding integrated social media tools to their offerings either their own software development or by offering API interfaces to the newer social media tools “inside the firewall”.

Microblogging and chat functionality from vendors such as Salesforce, cBrain and SAP have gotten a lot of praise from end users AND the tools are integrated, i.e. the information exchange is in the context of the business process. Record managers and the legal department are a lot happier even if the definition of what constitute a record still needs to be defined.

 I believe we will see many announcements from the big enterprise system vendors over the next few months and a key term will be enterprise 2.0 as an integrated part of business process management solutions.

Stay tuned!

#integration #e-discovery #enterprise2.0 #compliance