Oh to be a small to medium sized business….

I keep telling people that it will be the small to medium sized businesses who will lead the way in enterprise 2.0 adoption and innovation. Today I heard from a number of people, in a number of large companies, about how internal turf wars, agendas or the overall technology strategy is preventing some truly great tools from being deployed.

It’s inevitable really. Big IT departments have been so focused on cost reduction, standardization, a one size fits all approach and a need to show value for money, that the desire/ability to innovate and be flexible has simply been lost (or forgotten).

So my message is to all the innovative SMB’s out there. You can use your size, desire to grow and nimbleness to quickly and efficiently explore what a web 2.0 world can offer you – before your larger competitors do! Of course there will be exceptions, and I personally know of some very large companies deploying enterprise 2.0 tools, but I think the exciting place to be right now is in the SMB market.

Ed: I’m not IT dept bashing, I’ve worked in one and still do to some extent. I’m highlighting the experiences of those around me.

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3 thoughts on “Oh to be a small to medium sized business….

  1. Marcel de Ruiter

    Hi Scott,

    Here is one from another big company (120.000 people) where similar issues arise. Of course the bigger the company the bigger the coordination problem in general.

    I would like to point out by the way, that blaming “IT” is not always correct, How about the internal communications departments leading the way in explaning managers what the new tools could mean for collaboration, learning and information sharing?

    My two cents.

    Best regards,


  2. slgavin Post author

    You are spot on Marcel – in fact I work in a similar size company and it’s the size and culture in general that presents the challenge. Change management in such a large company is always, well, interesting. It’s not fair to blame IT, especially as I’m in IT (!), but going by the emails I recieved today (from other companies) the theme seemed to be IT barriers rather than customer demand. Some of us are lucky and have switched on and responsive IT depts, others have to battle harder!
    All the best – Scott

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