Wikis Grow, Podcasts and Social Bookmarking Slow
Momentum around enterprise Web 2.0 continues to build, but with growth comes complexity. As noted in recent Forrester Research "TechRadar" reports -- from the vendor and user perspectives -- enterprises are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate the ever-expanding Web 2.0 ecosystem. On the one hand, Forrester analyst Oliver Young has produced a report for vendor strategists interested in Web 2.0 involvement; on the flipside, fellow Forrester analyst Gil Yehuda has a report aimed at professionals consuming Web 2.0 resources. Interestingly, the two analysts do find some common ground, as both agree that wikis have an unrecognized enterprise value, and suggest that podcasts and social bookmarking tools are becoming less viable for enterprise consumption. The reports also reveal a contradiction in terms of adoption: Blogs, despite displaying uncertain business value, continue to grow in popularity, but forums, despite a high business value, remain relatively underutilized.
The reports cover 11 common Web 2.0 technologies that can potentially find value in the enterprise:
- prediction markets,
- social networking,
- RSS feeds,
- podcasts, and
- social bookmarks.
"Consumer usage of Web 2.0 tools that invite participation and reward sharing of content provides hope that global collaboration between people who don't even know each other can succeed in an enterprise," writes Yehuda in his TechRadar report, designed for professionals engaged in information and knowledge management. "Unfortunately, some of these tools are not ready for enterprise use. More importantly, many enterprises are not ready to use these tools, either."
"Although it's no longer new, most enterprises still treat Web 2.0 with doubt, waiting to see strong evidence of business value before adopting it within their mainstream business processes," Young writes, citing 2007 research that predicted only one in three firms would be planning to invest in some Web 2.0 technology by the end of that year.
The Forrester analysts divide the 11 Web 2.0 technologies into five phases:
- equilibrium, and
No technologies fell into the decline category and only one is listed as a new creation. The categorization is as follows:
- Microblogs: With Twitter as the most high-profile example, these are on the rise -- Young calls them the "current darlings of media attention" -- but microblogs still have little enterprise-specific adoption. Forrester expects microblogs to become an enterprise feature, not a standalone product.
- Prediction Markets: This technology aggregates information to create meaningful predictions for workers. Forrester expects prediction markets to remain niche for three years and that they will go mainstream if incorporated into larger product sets. As of now, the business value for enterprises is low.
- Social Networks: "We are at the verge at an interesting set of forces," Yehuda says. "Employees in certain demographics -- predominately the younger employees -- already have Facebook accounts and they are finding value in the use of these tools." He goes on to mention that enterprises are evaluating social networks in varying ways. "Some are biting the bullet and are saying we need to provide similar capabilities but inside our own domain." Some are including external social networking. Others are not doing anything at all and may even block networking sites from corporate access. This, Yehuda notes, often leads to employees taking measures into their own hands, which can be risky for the enterprise. Despite the varying degrees of social-network adoption, Yehuda and Young note that in terms of providing value to the enterprise, social networking falls right behind wikis in the "Growth" category. The report shows that social networking is deemed to reach its next phase in one to three years.
- Widgets: The gadget-like tools, often gracing portal homepages such as iGoogle, have had moderate success for the enterprise. Young notes that the widget ecosystem is just now emerging, however he expects the impact of mobile widgets to blossom in the next few years.
- Blogs: "Within the enterprise, blogs have yielded mixed results," Young writes, conveying that blogs will not go away, but that their impact on the enterprise is perhaps not as powerful as intended. He points out that social networks have the potential to breathe new life into blogs, by providing more context.
- Mashups: The business value-add of these informational hybrids is currently low, but the trajectory is moderate. According to the research, the mashup ecosystem is in full swing and will continue to grow as megavendors such as Microsoft, SAP, and IBM endorse mashup features and functionality in upcoming releases.
- RSS: This technology has medium value-add for enterprises, yet it is one that is often overlooked by Web 2.0 adopters. Young suggests that the reason for a lack of adoption is that RSS requires training and slight engineering.
- Wikis: Forrester maintains that wikis have the most growth potential out of all the Web 2.0 technologies, thanks to their ability to solve collaboration and productivity problems. "There are many enterprises that don't have wikis, but we still place them on the growth side because there is plenty of market opportunity -- the market is hardly saturated," Yehuda says. though he notes that wikis have a barrier to adoption: They aren't as intuitive to use as other technologies. Young writes, "A new version of [Microsoft] SharePoint, expected to start adoption in about three years, along with rapid growth in the wiki marketplace, point to a rapid growth phase."
- Forums: The cost to implement a forum is low, but Yehuda compares the effort to getting a free puppy: Nothing really comes for free. "Forum technology is mature and stable," Young writes. "We predict that forms will continue to exist in every enterprise.... The cost to implement a discussion forum is low, and there is a potential for a very high value in many business use cases. However, internal
discussion forums are not viewed to be strategic to many organizations."
- Podcasts: Although the analysts are not referring to podcasts as a declining market, they write that this particular technology has been through its life cycle -- and has failed to take off in the enterprise as predicted. Little innovation is occurring in the marketplace, the analysts report, which leads to in a very low value-add.
- Social Bookmarks: Young writes that the innovation in social bookmarks, as with podcasts, may have run its course. Employees are not viewing consumer-oriented social bookmarking as having a lot of value for the enterprise.
News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.
Is Enterprise 2.0 a Crock?
Enterprise 2.0 '09: The concept may be mainstream enough to warrant having a conference in its name, but "enterprise 2.0" still faces criticism from industry skeptics who want to see results before they believe the hype.
The 5 Potholes on the Road to Enterprise 2.0
Enterprise 2.0: Andrew McAfee, the man who coined the term "Enterprise 2.0," says the key to the transition involves sharing, not scaring.
The More CRM Changes, the More It Stays the Same
A new Gartner study finds the state of CRM in 2000 can predict its look in 2020.
College Kids Want World Peace and Blogs: Top 10 Web Sites
A look at the younger crowd's shifting Web preferences: Facebook still rules, LiveJournal and CNN are on the rise -- but PerezHilton.com and CollegeHumor.com fall off the list.
Marketers Pounce on Social Networking, But Users Shy Away
An IDC survey indicates that few users pay attention to advertising on social networking sites; more than half say they find ads there "annoying."
CRM 2.0 Is for Real
Forrester Research examines the growing field of social CRM and shows where the value lies.
Oracle Shines Up Siebel and Social Computing
Big Red's acquired powerhouse gets a major update, and adds sales gadgets to its social initiative.
Forrester Research Finds Disservice in Self-Service
Customers still want to speak to live agents, but companies aren't making it easy for either side, according to a new report.
Web 2.0 Technologies Remain Top-of-Mind for Most Companies
A recent study from the SSPA finds "higher-than-expected" gains in customer community and wiki adoption.
Study Points to Enterprise 2.0 Perplexity
AIIM content management research shows steady Enterprise 2.0 growth--but also vague understanding of the topic.
The Second Coming of Web 2.0
"Web 2.0" has been the subject of much buzz -- especially in CRM. What's beyond that buzz, and how can you make it work for you?
Studies Show Steadfast Social Networking Growth
Gartner and IDC reports show Enterprise 2.0 is growing among enterprises and a valuable resource for retailers.
Web 2.0 Will Get Big Enterprise Bucks
The market for social business technology will grow to $4.6 billion by 2013, but the big players may not be those we know today, according to a new report.