Businesses and Web 2.0 tools
Recently I was asked to elaborate on my post “Increasing productivity with Web 2.0” by giving examples of some enterprises using web 2.0 tools in their business. So I’ve done some research and here’s what I’ve found:
In McKinsey Quarterly Magazine (2007), there was an article about how businesses are using web 2.0 technologies. There survey results determined the following,
“More than half of the executives surveyed say they are pleased with the results of their investments in Internet technologies over the past five years, and nearly three-quarters say that their companies plan to maintain or increase investments in Web 2.0 technologies in coming years. (A mere 13 percent say they are disappointed with previous investments.) Companies that acted quickly in the previous wave of investment are more satisfied than late movers. Less than a fifth of all those surveyed say they are very satisfied with their returns. Of those who rate themselves as very satisfied, 46 percent are “early adopters” and 44 percent “fast followers””
“Asked what might have been done differently to make the previous investments in Internet technologies more effective, only 18 percent say they would not have acted differently. Forty-two percent say they would have strengthened their companies’ internal capabilities to make the most of the market opportunity at hand. Among the 24 percent who say they would have moved faster, many describe their companies as fast followers or early adopters—a strategy consistent with the view that speed is of the essence in technology investments.”
Although these findings are now a bit outdated, it is clear that companies that are acting quickly, investing in new web 2.0 technologies are gaining significant financial benefits within their businesses. So what are the technologies that businesses are investing in?
Some of the most common web 2.0 technologies being used by businesses include: wikis, blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds and P2P networking tools (McKinsey, 2007). It appears that collaboration and communication tools are the most used tools by business for use within the organisation or to communicate with customers. These technologies were cited as achieving the most visible, immediate and least costly benefit to the business (McKinsey, 2007).
Blogging within businesses
Some of the most known business using blogs for internal, external and in management purposes include: Google, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Time Warner, Nike, Pepsi, Mitsubishi and McGraw-Hill says Jeremy Wright on his blog “How Many Fortune’s 500’s Blogging“. I’ve included a wide range of companies (not just technologically-based ones) in this list on purpose to show how widespread blogging is.
Wikis within organisations
Wikis are also a common tool used internally for employees to communicate. Last night I was talking to my girlfriend’s family about their social interactions for another assignment I’m doing and discovered that they both use wikis at work to communicate amongst teachers at their respective schools. Both are Principals at state schools in Queensland and are using wikis every day to communicate with their co-workers. Many organisations and businesses use wikis as a tool for collaborating or communicating with one another.
Podcasts and RSS feeds within businesses
Podcasting can be used by management to update employees on issues and the latest news, but perhaps more interesting is the way podcasts are used to update the public and their customers on the latest news and information. This is very common in the Interactive Entertainment industry where game developers use syndicating and podcasts (as well as blogs) to update their devoted fans with interviews and such. Examples can be found at Blizzcast: http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcast/
Well I hope this gives you more insight into how businesses are using web 2.0 tools in their business. I could talk about this forever but I think this post is already long enough. Feel free to add any comments about businesses you know are using other web 2.0 tools. For example: Basecamp is used by companies to organise team projects.
McKinsey&Company. (2007). How Businesses are Using Web 2.0: A Global Survey. Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/How_businesses_are_using_Web_20_A_McKinsey_Global_Survey_1913
Wright, J. (2005). How Many Fortune 500’s Blogging? Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://www.ensight.org/2005/03/07/how-many-fortune-500s-blogging/
Blizzard. (2009). Blizzcast – The Blizzard Entertainment Podcast. Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcast/