Thursday, September 03, 2009

How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0: McKinsey Global Survey Results

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Enterprise Web 2.0 is in the air lately which has lead me to two back to back posts on the topic. Yesterday McKinsey's report on 'How Companies are Benefiting from Web2.0' hit my inbox and today a bunch of bloggers, like Oliver Marks over on his excellent ZDNet Collaboration 2.0 blog and Stephen E. Arnold on Beyond Search have already picked it up for summary, comment and discussion.

The third in production this McKinsey report is focused on deriving measurable business benefits companies are getting from their Web 2.0 investments. The results are based on around 1,700 executive survey respondents and focused on deployment of these technologies in three ares:
  • Within their organizations
  • Externally, in their relations with customers
  • In their dealings with suppliers, partners, and outside experts
From the main summary:
"Their responses suggest why Web 2.0 remains of high interest: 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. Companies that made greater use of the technologies, the results show, report even greater benefits. We also looked closely at the factors driving these improvements—for example, the types of technologies companies are using, management practices that produce benefits, and any organizational and cultural characteristics that may contribute to the gains. We found that successful companies not only tightly integrate Web 2.0 technologies with the work flows of their employees but also create a “networked company,” linking themselves with customers and suppliers through the use of Web 2.0 tools. Despite the current recession, respondents overwhelmingly say that they will continue to invest in Web 2.0."

The results point to blogs, RSS, and social networks as important means of exchanging knowledge in the enterprise (i guess RSS is not Dead after least not in the enterprise.) Below is a graph that outlines the technologies in play, with video taking the lead in use and things like tagging and Mash-Ups unfortunately trailing (could it be that the respondents where heavily business versus developer/technology types?). [click on image below for larger image]According to the report, adoption also continues to be an issue- which honestly is not that different then most enterprise initiatives around 'knowledge management'- just because you build it does not mean the people will use it.

Another focus on use of Web 2.0 technology that this report highlights is the use of technology to improve communications with suppliers and outside partners. I think this is an important aspect of the benefits of Web 2.0 for various reasons including ease and cost of setting up, familiarity of the technology by the users on both sides, and the ever growing need for companies to collaborate and build processes around suppliers and partners that are essential to their business continuity. Video, Social Networking, Blogs, RSS and Wikis take the expected lead in use for these business purposes: [click on image below for larger image]Some might be thinking- hey isn't Web 2.0 dead? Well remember it is only a marketing label and it definitely is not dead in the Enterprise as i have written before in various posts. Like Oliver Marks comments in his post on the report, the ‘Business and Web 2.0′ consulting landscape' continues to grow when you see the continuous attention of the big firms and the shoring up of smaller consulting outfits with super talent there is an obvious interest and need to use these technologies to enhance business operations.

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