To what degree have businesses embraced web 2.0 technologies? How have they used this to interact with their employees, suppliers and customers? There was a survey conducted by McKinsey that addresses these two questions.
Web 2.0 is defined as the ability for users to interact, share, collaborate, and exchange ideas. The age of user-generated content and ideas aid in the development of Web 2.0; applications of such usage include: Wikis, Blogs, RSS Feeds, Social Networking sites, etc.
Findings include that most companies employ web 2.0 technologies to for internal usage, interfacing with customers, and interfacing with suppliers. Some benefits that can be derived by engaging those three parties include: fostering collaboration within the company and as well as encouraging customer and supplier input in the product/service development process; tapping into a larger pool of experts; improving customer service and managing knowledge internally.
Since this survey was conducted internationally, different markets ended up having different needs and consequently, having different levels of satisfaction. For example, in the Asia-Pacific area, the satisfaction of web 2.0 technologies is the highest, and the use of wikis is the highest.
Not surprisingly, the company’s satisfaction of web 2.0 tools is highly correlated with the usage and implementation rates.
Some of the barriers for satisfaction for the usage of this tool include: senior management not embracing this technology; senior management not understanding the potential financial return; not having sufficient resources to adopt or experiment with web 2.0 tools; and the IT department not deploying or instituting such technologies.
The business that reported the highest satisfaction with the usage of web 2.0 tools adopted this technology by business units rather than IT department, whereas, dissatisfied respondents exhibited the reverse, where IT departments chose the tools and delivered to the business units. Almost 60% of respondents were satisfied with the web 2.0 initiatives, expect these business to be more aggressive in the marketplace with those who are slower to adopt this technology, also, it is inevitable that more investment is being poured into the adoption of this technology.
Companies that understand the intrinsic benefit of adopting this technology need to have all levels of management embrace this, and the adoption needs to be business-unit driven.