Monday, 4 August 2008

McKinsey: Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise


There were several interesting reports on web 2.0 / social networking published last month, including by McKinsey, Aberdeen Group and Bersin (I will be reporting on my won research shortly).

The McKinsey report provides an update on last year's research and finds increased use of web 2.0 tools which are still being used more frequently for internal than for external purposes (internal applications include managing knowledge - 83%; fostering collaboration across company - 78%; enhancing culture - 74%; training - 71%; developing products and services - 67% and internal recruiting - 54%).

21% of respondents say they are satisfied overall with web 2.0 technologies and are leveraging them to support fundamental changes in their organisations.

"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."

Almost 60% of these respondents see them as a driver of competitive advantage.

However, 22% of respondents voice clear dissatisfaction and some have stopped using certain technologies altogether.

One major difference between the two groups seems to be how the technologies are being used:

"A higher level of usage is found at companies that encourage it by using tactics such as integrating the tools into existing workflows, launching Web 2.0 in conjunction with other strategic initiatives, and getting senior managers to act as role models for adoption.

Dissatisfied respondents are likely to note more [barriers] including the inability of management to grasp the potential financial returns from Web 2.0, unresponsive corporate cultures, and less-than-enthusiastic leaders".

Another interesting finding relates to how the tools are adopted by the organisation.  The most common approach is for the business to identify new tools and to work with IT to bring them into the company (25%).  But the second most popular approach is for the IT department to find and test new technologies and for the business to bring them into business units.  Unsurprisingly, this approach doesn't seem to work that well.  Although 16% of respondents reported using this approach there was a clear differentiation between those respondents reporting the highest satisfaction with web 2.0 (only 11% of these respondents used this approach) and those with the lowest satisfaction (where a full 36% used this approach).

So if IT can't take a lead in introducing web 2.0 into our organisations then who can?  You know the answer! - so let's get to it!