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Most Business Tech Pros Wary About Web 2.0 Tools In Business

'Enterprise 2.0' must overcome concerns about security and return to get a foothold in business, InformationWeek Research Finds.
Nudge 2.0
IT departments on the cutting edge of Enterprise 2.0 shouldn't bet on employees flocking to these tools without a push. Procter & Gamble is running an internal marketing campaign with the tagline "connect, converse, accelerate" as it rolls out real-time communications, a collaborative content portal, and desktop search. At Wells Fargo, IT and business departments work together to develop only those applications employees need most.

At Wieland Homes, the IT department plans to give each department the power to control their intranet sites, using SharePoint, expecting they'll be able to structure how they share information better than IT has been able to. Employees will expect these tools to be easy to use. "They are willing to train themselves as long as it's as easy to use as Amazon or Google," says IBM VP Bisconti.

But is it all worth the effort? Collaboration technologies are notorious for their "soft ROI." At Wells Fargo, they're not bothering to cook up a dollar value for each collaboration app. "I can just go out and tell our boss I know we'll be better off," Ellis says.

Yet Ellis and his team must have a case for how it will make the bank's customers better off. Wells Fargo is only now experimenting with voice over IP, and Danny Peltz, executive VP of the company's Wholesale Internet and Treasury Solutions group, says he's not yet convinced of the value of all the pieces of unified communications and presence awareness. "Is it going to make me build faster? Is it going to make me perform better and service my customers better?" he asks. "Those are the things I'm trying to figure out."

They're the same questions a lot of IT pros are asking. They know well enough not to chase technology just because it's got the buzz of a Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 label. But they also know better than to ignore an opportunity from which their competitors might be gaining an edge.

Illustration by Ryan Etter

Continue to the sidebars:
Why We Like The 'Enterprise 2.0' Label,
Nine Easy Web-Based Collaboration Tools
Companies On Edge About Web Video
and
The Big IT Vendors Promise Web 2.0 Capabilities

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing