Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Web 2.0 - coming soon to your office desktop, or not?

A great post by corporate IT guru Andrew McAfee last week chastised FastForward conference attendees for their blind faith that Web 2.0 tools will gain widespread adoption in business. And it got me thinking about how companies and individuals use Web 2.0 tools differently. Here is one conclusion:

The great convenience and usefulness of Web 2.0 tools has spurred their rapid adoption by consumers (e.g., 50 million+ blogs, according to Technorati), while concerns over security and control of information have inhibited their adoption by corporations.

And that's much to the detriment of business. Collaboration is essential to any business. And with large businesses in particular, collaboration across distances and other boundaries (organizational, time, national, etc.) is mandatory. Yet IT departments don't know how to deal with some of the best tools--wikis, blogs, content tagging, social networks, etc.--that can benefit that collaboration.

Like individuals, businesses will have to give up some of their obsession with confidentiality and privacy in order to make use of these tools. The companies who figure out how to solve that equation first will have a great advantage. The rest will be wondering, five years from now, what happened.

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