Purpose. The article explores how ICT supports the open enterprise approach, which is emerging empirically as one of Enterprise 2.0 model. More specifically, it explores (1) the applications characteristics - in terms of drivers and barriers - adopted by companies to support E2.0, and (2) the different ways of integrating applications in the E2.0. Design/methodology/approach. The article is based on evidence from 52 case studies. In addition, an online community (Enterprise20.it) was developed in order to promptly receive cues and suggestions to refine the research. Findings. Four application areas for the E2.0 have been identified and explored in details, in terms of the main sponsors of the initiatives, the motivations and the barriers to introduction of E2.0. For each area, different levels of maturity have been identified, and explicative variables discussed. Four different levels of integration of the approaches to E2.0 emerged, each representing a different integrating path. Practical implications. The article provides empirically grounded and actionable knowledge (guidelines) for companies to design and implement new ICT-enabled (virtual) working environments able to extend the boundaries of their knowledge creation to their mobile workers, customers and suppliers. Originality/value. The article, which is based on evidence from the E2.0 Observatory in Italy, reports an extensive empirical investigation of the phenomenon during three years and proposes a framework to interpret the E2.0. It breaks up the open box, highlighting the role of ICT in terms of processes and governance approaches
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