Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I want my Web 2.0 -- at work

posted by Andy Leff
Want to use Web 2.0 tools at your company to change the way you interact with customers? Then skip the CFO and middle managers, and ask your CEO. Oh, and bring a cost/benefit analysis with you, too.

That's according to “Serious business: Web 2.0 goes corporate,” a study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and sponsored by FAST. The report examines how large corporations around the world apply Web 2.0 to their business practices.

The overarching result: 79 percent of respondents see Web 2.0 as a way to boost revenues, and cut costs. Drilling down, 85 percent of C-suite executives view Web 2.0's collaboration functions as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins.

These top-level execs are also more inclined to think Web 2.0 is 'transformative' (35 percent vs. 28 percent), and can significantly impact the company's business model (41 percent vs. 22 percent).

Just don't ask your CFOs first. They're the most skeptical about Web 2.0's benefits, and are less likely than other C-level execs to understand or support it.

And even though middle management is pro-2.0 at 75 percent, there seems to be a disconnect between the boardroom and the cubicle about best practices for actually implementing the tools.

Still, leery CFOs and hog-tied managers must not be getting too much in the way of progress, because nearly 60 percent of the companies say they are inviting customers to contribute content that helps develop and support products.

Here's where the bottom line boost comes in, according to the report. Most companies said that Web 2.0 makes acquiring and supporting customers much easier, which then increases revenue. It also cuts costs for customer support, advertising, PR, and product/service innovation.

And early adopters are cropping up all over the world. This includes the United States, Germany, China, India, and the United Kingdom. The top industries: entertainment and media, technology, travel and tourism, and professional services.

So where does your company fall on this Web 2.0 adoption spectrum? How have your managers and leaders responded to the technology? Share your thoughts and experiences here.

Labels: ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?