Adapting Web 2.0 to build new internal and external business tools

Web 2.0 has, over a short period of time, become a topic of enormous interest. Naturally, it has suffered from its fair share of hype, but beyond this a wide range of business managers recognize that Web 2.0 is a significant force that must change business. This white paper is about the impact, both from the perspective of the creation of new market opportunities and on the role Web 2.0 can play inside an organization to bring people and expertise together, with events to optimize opportunities or address new issues.

Overall the potential impact is huge, and the background to the breadth of the topic needs to be addressed, before taking a more focused look at Web 2.0 and its role in a business setting. As a starting point the term “social” applied to terms such as “social networking” should be understood to mean nothing more than “people” and “interaction” centric as opposed to “technology”, i.e. as in server, and “transaction” centric as in other forms of “networks”. And this is indeed a change in working and consumer habits that is being driven by “people”, just as in their times PCs, PDAs and Cell Phones, were introduced into business use by employees seeking to improve their working capabilities, before Enterprise wide understanding of cost benefits dictated deployment.

A significant proportion of the population in most western countries has both acquired technology literacy, and changed their habits as consumers, citizens or workers, as a direct consequence of the Internet and World Wide Web. As consumers they have become more demanding and inclined to want their purchases tailored more specifically to fit their own demands, a move that has created new market opportunities for many businesses. Whilst as citizens they believe that the state has to become more responsive to their requirements and service level expectations.

However, it is as colleagues and co-workers that further change is introduced as they abandon the constraints, as they see them, of traditional IT and start to introduce so called personal, or web based solutions. They feel familiar and comfortable with Web 2.0 technologies, and as the pressures at work for resolving an ever increasing amount of change continue to build then, individuals and workgroups, decide to use the same approaches as they are using outside work to organize their complex lives.