Today's keynotes at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston moved just as quickly as they did yesterday. Here's a quick look at advice from four of the industry’s thought leaders on everything from Enterprise 2.0 vs. Social Business to best practices for better business via enterprise software. 

The Consumerprise Era

Chris Morace, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Jive Software (news, site), took the stage today and and asked a very important question about the future: Should it be Enterprise 2.0 or Social Business?

Our current Enterprise state is one of chaos. People are getting frantic, information is moving faster than ever before, our systems are dusty and most everyone is frustrated. As an outcome, Morace claimed 70% of enterprise employees are using unsanctioned cloud apps -- not because they're bad people, but because they're desperately trying to get things done. 

Sadly, these apps aren't exactly cutting it. Without being built for the Enterprise, they leak precious information and, ultimately, create new silos even though they're fundamentally about connecting people and information. 

Meanwhile, these same technologies are wildly successful in the consumer space. Morace highlighted a few reasons why:

  • Apps are easy to develop
  • They are frictionless -- purchase and install is a matter of a click
  • Consumer software purchase has largely become disposable thanks to freemium or low cost models 

Naturally, the conversation took a turn toward the consumerization of the enterprise, but before you groan and or do a facepalm, note that Morace's argument was not for full on transplant. Instead, he urges organizations to apply a particular school of thought to the future of problem solving:

  • New purchasing models. Pay as you go; Purchase individually; Purchase as a team; make it simple
  • Click and go installation
  • Apps need access to the social graph 

Morace finished his quick talk by considering the time when Facebook revealed the Open Graph. Many people realized that there wasn't going to be 100 winners -- there was going to be one dominant social network: "I'm not saying that's going to be the same thing in the Enterprise, I think that we're far from that place happening, but I think those same forces are at work. I think there's going to be a handful of winners." 

Contextography and the Customer Experience

Adobe's (news, site) Principal Product Marketing Manager of the Digital Enterprise Solutions Business Unit, Ben Watson, had some hard hitting words for this morning's audience:

"If you are currently planning for the future, and embracing the idea of social media, then I would maybe postulate that it's already too late."

However disheartening that may be, it does make sense considering a number of facts: the number of Tumblr posts that will be made by the end of today is somewhere around 10 million. Meanwhile, 60,000 new websites will be launched and every minute 45 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.

All together, 25,000 new pieces of content are produced every second. 

"It's not possible for me as an individual or even as an organization to be able to fully consumer, comprehend and understand that content," said Watson. The key word here being "comprehend". Obviously, today's challenge is not in the body, as we've got more than enough content. The challenge and the opportunity are in the head. 

Contextography is Watson's fancy way of putting a name on the collection, study, analysis, measurement and resulting use of context, which is where he says our minds should be. The breakdown is a big one, but you can check it out in full here

3 Components for Better Business with Enterprise Software

You gotta love a man whose definition of an F-bomb is "fun."

Tom Kelly, CEO of Moxie Software (news, site) spoke today about how expectations have changed. The reality of our world today is overwhelming. With respect to that, looking for ways to simplify things and conduct business, is essential for dealing with the speed of change. 

"The game is the same as it always was, it's just the speed with which things are moving." 

Kelly's three key elements in any social platform that help navigate simply and smoothly: 

  • Simple Design: We need to free ourselves from the idea that a massive product goes hand in hand with a massive check. It's about simplicity and speed. Complexity does not equal success. People work with people, in groups. Designing business environments around this natural method is critical. Design the way you work. 
  • Knowledge: It's not just the sharing of knowledge that's important; it's about how we deliver it. How do we share information with customers? With each other? It's about knowledge out in a simple environment. Focus on the person you're sitting with. 
  • Thought Leadership: You need forward thinking / visionary thinking. This has always been true. It is the foundation of everything and always has been. 

The Social Software Evolution, Not Revolution

If you're wondering what the next great innovation will be, ask Ross Mayfield of Socialtext (news, site) an easy answer: I don't have it

Thankfully, he says there are ways to confidently predict. For starters, stop thinking of social media based software as a revolution. When nobody believed this was a serious category, then it was revolutionary. Today Mayfield says such things should be treated as an evolution, and the next levels, as usual, will be about innovation and adaptation. 

Some times for the road ahead: 

  • Consumer tech cannot produce the same patterns in an internal space. Companies are not communities. Every company is smaller than the entire Web and people have to fit into the process.
  • Focus on the adoption in the flow of work. Knowledge management failed because knowledge sharing is just a byproduct of doing work inside social software. There is a level of imperfectness you have to live with. 
  • You still have to do the boring stuff: security, IT admin, audit, etc
  • Discover people through content and content through people
  • There is no such thing as collaboration without a goal. Focus less on the technology and more on your direction.