This article describes research designed to measure the impact of the business value of wikis, blogs, podcasts, folksonomies, mashups, social networks, virtual worlds, crowdsourcing, and RSS filters—all Web 2.0 technologies. Properly deployed, they may well permit companies to cost-effectively increase their productivity and, ultimately, their competitive advantage; the research reported here includes results of interview, observation, and survey data-collection from select companies and industries primarily in the U.S. across six performance areas: knowledge management, rapid application development, customer relationship management, collaboration/communication, innovation, and training. The results include caution, skepticism, and a significant contribution to collaboration and communication. Wikis, blogs, and RSS filters have had the greatest impact, while virtual worlds have had virtually none. Security remains a concern, but we found that communication and collaboration are generally well served by Web 2.0 technologies.
The article is a report of a survey, observations and interviews around the web 2.0 topic. The thing that stood out for me was that the expectation of impact and actual impact was highest for "collaboration and communication" and "knowledge management!" And, by the way, I find a lot of "collaboration and communication" to overlap with knowledge management.
The research finds that a lot of web 2.0 technology adoption is driven by consumer experience outside of the business environment. This shouldn't be too surprising, given the wide reporting of Twitter and Facebook and Wikipedia (and blogs?). The research also finds lower adoption of technologies for which there is less news coverage - or for which there are greater concerns around security. It's unfortunate, but it is probably simple reality that things like RSS readers don't get a lot of attention either by the public or by business leaders.
[Photo: "deep impact on planet color" by Andrea]