Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Web 2.0 Management Survey Progress Report Available

WEB 2.0 MANAGEMENT SURVEY 2/22/06: While I work on a longer formal progress report and podcast I've posted a brief progress report describing where the Survey stands right now. (12 interviews so far!)

Here are some random thoughts and observations I have as I work through the formal report:

  • The issue of "IT department resistance" is not as major a factor as I had supposed. While this may be at least partly due to the non-random nature of the "sample" of the people I'm interviewing, there are other factors (see below) that are at least as important in affecting the speed with which companies implement Web 2.0 based services.
  • Just because a company has figured out how to allocate responsibility for web service support between the IT department and individual business units doesn't necessarily mean that it can readily accept and integrate the more collaborative and decentralized model of customer communication that Web 2.0 can support.  But it's probably well positioned to figure this out.
  • Not all corporate cultures are ready to support the more decentralized and collaborative model of content management and collaboration represented by Web 2.0.
    • Highly bureaucratic or heavily regulated organizations may be slow to adopt the greater flexibility that Web 2.0 represents in these areas.
    • Certain types of business models may operate perfectly well without blogging, podcasts, or wikis.
  • There's a universal assumption that young people will expect and demand more collaborative and interactive features in the workplace because of their use of services such as Flickr and Facebook. We'll see. Based on personal observations of two college age children, another possibility is that many will "graduate" from using these services just as they graduate from other age specific activities.
  • Privacy, security, and network reliability are major issues being considered by companies thinking about investments in Web 2.0 technologies. Some IT departments might need to do a better job of communicating with business users that these concerns are justified.
  • There's still a lot of confusion over the definition of "Web 2.0" but things appear to be coming into focus. For example, remote hosting of "web office" applications is not the same as "web 2.0."
  • IT departments that are strategically focused and truly business oriented are in a much better position than those that aren't to help their companies figure out the best way to implement and operate Web 2.0 applications.
  • The more knowledge- and communication-oriented a company, the more likely it is to benefit from Web 2.0 based technologies. A corollary of this is that in such companies the distinctions between "intellectual property" and "communications about that intellectual property"

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