Web 2.0 – Is it for real?

I can't help it, but there's a part of me that likes the aspect of "business" - how to impact it with technology is probably the better way to say it.

At this point, no one is asking if Web 2.0 is real, or if will impact one's life in some way. I could argue that we've talked enough about it and it's time to prepare and execute - as well as argue that if you're company is still seeking how to react that you're probably already behind your competitors.

With all of the end of the year reviews and predictions, I ran across a Web 2.0 article dated March 2007 from The McKinsey Quarterly, titled How Businesses are using Web 2.0: A McKinsey Global Survey. (I recommend that technical resources check out this site and register for the quarterly reports.) In this report, they surveyed 2,847 executives from around the world ("44 percent of whom hold C-level positions").

The trends used in the survey were:

  • Web Services
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • Social Networking
  • RSS
  • Podcasts
  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Mash-ups


I've listed them in the order that the respondents ordered them in (by their collective investments). By far, web services had the biggest investment by the respondents - which goes with what I've been telling my architect contacts in 2007. My message has been to provide web services that allow for your customers (internal, external, partner) to interact in the way that they want to (ie. where they are). As well, provide some client applications that interact with these services. This gives a company a two-fold benefit - 1) providing the foundation for communication, 2) accelerating the service usage by providing an application that leverages the service as well as serves as an example that others might build on.

A good point about this survey list is that Microsoft has invested in its products to support all of these Web 2.0 trends. We provide platforms and tools that work in each of these areas, so that folks can focus on how to leverage Web 2.0 for their business advantage (and not have to be IT plumbers).

Final points on this - first, this report is basically a year old now. It would be interesting to see where these companies are now. Second, the report does a good job of looking at the survey in different viewpoints. I recommend that you check it out, and forward to your management if they are not familiar with trends or if they think that this is all just a social phenomenon.

If your company is taking advantage of Web 2.0 with our tools and platform AND you'd like some help telling this, let me know. If you have some ideas on how your company could leverage our technologies AND need some help communicating this to your management, let us know.

McKinsey's next article of interest for me (Just released)

Many markets and industries will be transformed by eight emerging technology trends that are changing the way businesses manage relationships, assets, and information. To benefit, companies must understand not only the technologies but also their business implications and the management changes they require. Learn more by reading "Eight business technology trends to watch."

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