Web 2.0 in the Workplace: An IT Imperative

It’s clear that some working knowledge of Web 2.0-style groupware apps, and how they can be deployed in workplace settings,
is a real plus for IT experts these days. You may not be inclined to deploy
Facebook as an office productivity tool, but some forms of collaboration and
social networking do have a place in the office.

Web 2.0 in the workplaceThe proof is in a McKinsey
Quarterly
article that describes how companies are benefiting from Web 2.0.
It summarizes a survey of 1,700 executives which asked about Web 2.0
deployments within their organizations, in their relations with
customers, and in their dealings with suppliers, partners and outside
experts.

The bottom line:

69 percent of respondents report that
their companies have gained measurable business benefits, including more
innovative products and services, more effective marketing, better access to
knowledge, lower cost of doing business, and higher revenues.

And how
does all that happen?

We found that successful companies not only tightly
integrate Web 2.0 technologies with the workflows of their employees but also
create a ‘networked company,’ linking themselves with customers and suppliers
through the use of Web 2.0 tools.

McKinsey claims that Web 2.0 collaborative tools bring
more employees into daily contact at lower cost.

When used effectively, they
also may encourage participation in projects and idea sharing, thus deepening a
company’s pool of knowledge.

This is a point advocates of groupware
make all the time: Nothing is more important than capturing and saving local
knowledge, preferably in a way that’s easily archived and searched later. It’s thought-provoking
stuff at a time when low-cost productivity solutions are in great demand.

— Don Willmott

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