Enterprise 2.0 strategies are becoming more popular among companies today, but there are serious logistical and legal challenges along with the expected benefits of using social collaboration tools.
This is especially true for companies like Vanguard, a mutual fund with roughly 12,500 employees and US$1.3 trillion in assets under management, said Abha Kumar, principal in the information technology division, during a presentation at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston this week.
Due to the nature of its business, Vanguard must contend with a wide variety of regulatory guidelines and compliance matters, with scrutiny coming from government agencies such as the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, private auditing firms and foreign regulators, she said. "We can never, ever let our clients' data get outside our four walls."
Therefore, historically, Vanguard's IT department has behaved quite conservatively, she said. "We tend to lock it down first and then open it up as the need arises."
She offered one example: Until recently, GPS capabilities on corporate BlackBerries were disabled. That didn't change until an executive called and asked for GPS to be turned on, as he was lost in Ireland, she said.
But despite these constraints, Vanguard has begun adopting Web 2.0-style tools, through a three-tier strategy focused on mobility, collaboration and "enriching" communications. Employees have responded enthusiastically, said Andrew Lazzaro, a Vanguard IT manager who co-presented with Kumar. "They're dying for it."
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Source: PC World
By: Chris Kanaracus