The latest McKinsey quarterly report provides results of a survey of 1,700 executives from around the world who were asked about the value that they/their companies had realised from their Web 2.0 deployments.
69% of respondents report that their companies have gained measurable business benefits, which includes more innovative products and services, more effective marketing, better access to knowledge, lower cost of doing business, and higher revenues.
The survey also found that the most successful companies integrated Web 2.0 technologies with the work flows of their employees, creating a ‘networked company, which also linked them with customers and suppliers.
Highest on the list of benefits reported by the survey respondent was the ability to gain access to expertise outside company walls more quickly.
Analysis of how companies were using Web 2.0 technology revealed use of RSS feeds and microblogs, where Twitter was the most popular, with blogs, wikis and podcasts being the most heavily used technologies, and the most effective for exchanging knowledge.
The survey results indicate that a different type of company may be emerging – one that makes intensive use of interactive technologies. This ‘networked organisation’ is characterised both by the internal integration of Web tools among employees, as well as use of the technologies to strengthen channels with external stakeholders – customers and business partners.
Closer inspection of the survey results reveal three aspects of management that were criticval to superior performance:
- a lack of internal barriers to Web 2.0
- a culture favouring open collaboration
- early adoption of Web 2.0 technologies
The report goes on to say that many companies experiment with Web 2.0 technologies, but that creating a critical mass of committed users is difficult. Successful adoption requires that the tools be integrated into the user’s work flow. Ratings by peers and online recognition of status are important factors in encouraging wider Web 2.0 adoption.
Looking ahead, there appears to be satisfaction with Web 2.0 among all respondents, and that the full benefits of Web 2.0 are still being explored.