The "New" New Way to Innovate on McKinsey's Technology Trends
by Tom Erickson
McKinsey’s latest quarterly includes an updated list of top technology trends to watch. The list was first published over two years ago and described eight tech-business trends that were reshaping strategy across industries. Since then, the social web has exploded, creating a quandary for executives on “how to help their companies capitalize on the transformation under way.”
Given what we have all seen happening on the web, its not surprising that trend #1 is now Distributed cocreation moving into the mainstream. And no, they are not talking about creation in the context of humankind. They're talking about communities being organized on the Web to develop, market and support products and services. Whether organizations build communities that are externally-facing, internally- or a combination of both, the statistics they cite are impressive: 70 percent of executives recently surveyed said their companies regularly create value through Web communities. McKinsey even cites Intuit (an Acquia customer) which has used the Web to extend their reach and lower the cost of serving customers through communities.
It’s not a surprising conclusion for us at Acquia, though. Drupal has been used since its beginning in 2001 to build communities. While it’s practically impossible to measure the breadth and depth of Drupal being used in these situations due to the open source nature of Drupal, we firmly believe that it is used more broadly than any other solution on the planet to create, sustain, and maintain social business communities. So when others starting “jiving” about “changing the way business is done” and “being the new way”, we felt it was time to demonstrate that this “new way” was actually an “existing way”. Interestingly enough, their “new way” has heaps of “old way” built in, essentially proprietary software lock in that limits an enterprise’s freedom to innovate.
Jay Batson talks about this “roadblock” instead of a “roadmap” in his blog. Being bound to a proprietary software vendor’s roadmap is truly the old way. It’s time for enterprises to adopt the “new, new way” of doing business, collaboration built on top of tools that do not restrict the freedom to innovate, while harnessing the capabilities used by more social business communities than any other solution.
To make adopting a business tool for “distributed cocreation” dead simple, we released Drupal Commons recently. Drupal Commons is modeled after the thousands of community sites that utilize Drupal to build community. And Drupal, the product, has plenty of community intelligence built in. The Drupal community itself numbers more than 600,000 registered members, and almost 3000 active contributors. I cited many examples of enterprise community sites in this blog.
Innovating on your collaboration model demands that you innovate on your innovation model as well. And the essential basis of both is the simple principle of freedom: freedom to create, manage and market through communities to reach better business results. It’s a core principle of the open source model, serving millions of individuals daily in the case of Drupal alone.
Yet adopting Drupal historically came with a hitch, you needed to assemble your solution. The beauty of Drupal Commons is that we have finally achieved enterprise Drupal readiness without sacrificing any of the freedom - freedom for users to customize it, freedom for users to connect to anyone with it and freedom from licensing costs.