Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise

Executives responding to McKinsey’s second annual survey on the business use of Web 2.0 technologies -- including wikis, blogs, social networks, and mash-ups -- were asked which of these social and interactive tools their companies have adopted and for which purposes, what they are doing to encourage adoption, and how satisfied they are with their use of these tools.

This year’s survey reveals continuing investments in Web 2.0. Companies that are deriving business value from these tools are now shifting from using them experimentally to adopting them as part of a broader business practice. Last year, respondents said that their companies had adopted just over two Web 2.0 tools on average; this year, those companies have adopted two and a half from the same list and more than three from an expanded one. The survey also shows that the use of these tools is both intense and wide-ranging. Companies report that they are using Web 2.0 both within and outside their walls -- to forge tighter links with customers and suppliers and to engage employees more successfully.

The findings also suggest that after an initial period of promise and trial, companies are coming to understand the difficulty of realizing some of Web 2.0’s benefits. Only 21 percent of the respondents say they are satisfied overall with Web 2.0 tools, while 22 percent voice clear dissatisfaction. Further, some disappointed companies have stopped using certain technologies altogether.

However, fundamental changes are beginning to take place among the satisfied companies as a result of their ambitious use of Web 2.0. These companies are not only using more technologies but also leveraging them to change management practices and organizational structures. Some are taking steps to open their corporate “ecosystems” by encouraging customers to join them in developing products and by using new tools to tap distributed knowledge.

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