Mind to Market

Monday, November 05, 2007

Web 2.0 for the Enterprise

While social networking sites and wikis are rapidly gathering a large following the question of what value these technologies hold for business enterprises remains largely unanswered. Information Week has provided a useful summary of the adoption of various Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise. In general they feel that much of the Web 2.0 functionality can be provided by existing technologies such as SharePoint and content management systems.

The highest value Web 2.0 functionality was that of collaborative content tools with 39% of responses from an online poll finding it to be important. Notably the social networking functionality of Web 2.0, the functionality the provides the value behind facebook and myspace, seems to be the least valuable feature to enterprises, only 5% of responses from an online poll found it to be important. But are they really distinct features? The real value of Web 2.0 is its connectivity; you can shift the focus of what you find valuable, whether it be practical solutions to business problems or who your favorite band is, the point is that it is networked and available.

The idea of focusing on those features that provide real business value is a good one, but focusing to the point of information silos is contradictory to Web 2.0. The ability to provide focus will be provided by better semantic integration, technologies that will allow a user to extract highly relevant information quickly rather than to sift through mounts of semantically mismatched information currently retrieved with non-specific searches.

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