E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

A Conversation with Léo Apotheker and Andrew McAfee

Gran Canaria - Monte León
Yesterday, a very interesting and enlightening conversation between Léo Apotheker, SAP co-CEO, and Andy McAfee got aired on TV with the ever resourceful Charlie Rose as the host and getting down to business right away. In that 23 minute interview, which I can highly recommend watching, the topic of whether IT -specially Enterprise Software- can help in the current crisis or not came up and I must say that although I enjoyed listening to the answers, I think that they are still missing an important point that, I can’t believe, yet again, has been taken for granted.

Andy talks about Enterprise Software vendors being process factories working on a rather competitive business world, but still they are driving the adoption of different business processes. Léo, on the other hand, talks about how IT can help by embedding the best possible processes into the best possible technology. So, in a way, agreeing to a certain extent with what Andy mentioned.

Yet, I am not buying it. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you will know where I am heading. Once again, and like it has been happening all along, we keep forgetting one single key aspect that will make it all work out rather well. Yes, indeed, I am talking about the people! Why are they left behind once again? Haven’t we learned anything from the past so far? In fact, isn’t leaving out the people from the equation perhaps the main culprit from the financial crisis we are going through at the moment?

I just wished that once and for all people would understand that no matter whether you have got the best processes or the best technology in place, if you don’t have the right people with their innate ability and skills to share their knowledge across, learn, experience and applying that new knowledge in whatever the context, you haven’t got anything!

That, to me, is how the IT world can surely help out with the financial crisis we are going through. Always as an enabler of how knowledge workers collaborate, share and execute what they know with their peers. And from that perspective we are in the unique position where, for the first time in a long while, social software can surely get things right from the start. Let’s not spoil it. Please.

(Check out this excellent blog post, by the way, from Mike Wing, over at A Smart Planet‘s “The Individual on a Smarter Planet” to get some further insights on the topic. Definitely the space where we should be heading within the enterprise. Excellent read!)

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