Web 2.0: Too Good to Be True?

From the start, technologists and marketers promoted Web 2.0 technologies–Wikis! Blogs! Podcasts!–as smarter, cheaper ways to communicate with employees, partners and customers.


It all sounded so appealing businesses couldn’t help but buy in: Throughout 2007, surveys showed an increasing number of Web 2.0 deployments in the corporate world.


But is Web 2.0 not all it’s cracked up to be? Were businesses sold a bill of goods?


You won’t find many doubters about the collaborative powers Web 2.0 tools possess, and few will say they’re not making teams more efficient. It’s the money-saving argument that’s getting pushback lately.


Collaborative tools are overloading employees and killing productivity–to the tune of $588 billion a year, according to a January study by Basex, a collaboration technologies consulting firm. And that assumes knowledge workers make $21 per hour–a conservative estimate–meaning the damage could exceed a half-trillion dollars.


Is it possible the tools that were supposed to make workers more efficient and productive are crushing those very advantages?


Corporate executives also worry that Web 2.0 tools pose a security threat. Fifty-two percent of 472 executives say securing and protecting sensitive data was the top barrier to adopting the tools, according to a January poll by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research and advisory firm, for business consultancy KPMG.


There’s a strong argument here, and CIOs and CISOs listen hard to data threats. They don’t have much choice, given all the negative press and drops in customer confidence following a string of major data thefts in recent years. Security pros are always contending with new applications and systems, figuring out how to secure them and the data within from evildoers inside and outside their companies.


Page 2: Fresh Can of Worms


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