How Real Is Web 2.0 to Business?

Manila Bulletin, August 18, 2009 | Go to article overview

How Real Is Web 2.0 to Business?


A recent McKinsey & Company survey of 1,700 global executives conclusively demonstrated that most companies gain measurable business benefits from implementing Web 2.0 technologies. Those benefits include more innovative products and services, more effective marketing, better access to knowledge, lower cost of doing business, and higher revenues, a report on the survey results concluded, adding, “Companies that made greater use of the technologies report even greater benefits.Of all the respondents globally, 69% indicated that their companies have benefited from Web 2.0. Web 2.0 refers to a new generation of web technologies ranging from blogs to search marketing to social network marketing. They are interactive, and intended to provide a rich user experience, but at their core they are visibility tools seeking attention for content that increases interest in and credibility for product and service, individual, and organizational brands.Because they work so well as visibility tools, Web 2.0 technologies prioritize issues, helping to focus resources on those that are the most impactful. These tools are online, so they also enable communication and collaboration at lower cost. According to the McKinsey report, “When used effectively they encourage participation in projects and idea sharing, deepening a company’s pool of knowledge,” with the result that products are brought to market faster. An additional benefit is “strengthening bonds with customers and improving communications with suppliers and outside partners.” These benefits are realized when companies that successfully leverage Web 2.0 tools tightly integrate these technologies with “the work flows of their employees and create a ‘networked company,’ linking themselves actively with customers and suppliers” alike, the report’s authors note. Web 2.0 tools have become so integral to most respondents’ companies that they “overwhelmingly say that they will continue to invest in Web 2.0” despite the tough economic times that prevail when cutting all unnecessary expenses is a critical survival tactic.The survey examined benefits of internal communication and external communication both with customers and suppliers and other stakeholders. It requested that respondents specify in percentage terms the level of improvement experienced in their companies in each of these instances. The results showed, for example, that the “median level of gains derived from internal Web 2.0 use ranged from a 10 percent improvement in operational costs to a 30 percent increase in the speed at which employees are table to tap outside experts.” Both the low and high ranges were significant.According to respondents, their companies use a variety of Web 2.0 technologies. However, the “more heavily used technologies are blogs, wikis, and podcasts—the same tools that are popular among consumers. …

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How Real Is Web 2.0 to Business?
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