Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0 gaining traction
By Toby Ward — According to Forrester, social networking tools and internal wikis will have the greatest impact on workplace collaboration. Technologies such as forums and RSS have a future in the enterprise but are currently underused, while podcasts have a limited future as an enterprise tool to increase productivity and enhance collaboration.
The study is the latest in the TechRadar series, Forrester’s
research methodology used to predict the success of a set of related
technologies over the next decade (Forrester Projects Which Enterprise Web 2.0 Collaboration
Technologies Will Grow, Which Will Decline). The
enterprise Web 2.0 analysis provides insight for two roles: Information
& Knowledge Management professionals and Vendor Strategy
"Web 2.0 collaboration technologies solve problems that enterprises have today, but most companies have not used these tools anywhere near their potential" said Gil Yehuda, senior analyst, Forrester Research. "This new research illustrates to enterprise users where the smart money is invested and where to place their strategic bets. In the current economic climate, Forrester believes collaboration tools can save enterprises operation costs by getting people and processes together quickly and efficiently".
"While so much of the buzz around Web 2.0 has focused on the business-to-consumer market, the greatest opportunity today for vendors is in the business-to-business collaboration space" said Oliver Young, analyst, Forrester Research. "Some Web 2.0 collaboration technologies have shown a faster-than-normal life cycle, so it is critical for vendors to take stock of the enterprise tools that have the greatest long-term potential and invest wisely in those technologies."
Forrester previously estimated the enterprise Web 2.0 collaboration market will hit $1.8 billion by 2013. The enterprise Web 2.0 TechRadar study is based upon an analysis of previous research and interviews with industry experts, vendors responsible for building or implementing these technologies, and enterprise customers and users.
Forrester predicts the following Web 2.0 collaboration technologies will continue to experience growth:
- Social networks (cultural resistance exists, but Forrester believes this will eventually break)
- Wikis (users report success with Wiki endeavors, particularly when sponsored by business leaders)
- Blogging (social networks will breathe new life into internal blogs by providing more context to blogged content, but Forrester found that blogging alone does not capture the audience’s attention)
- RSS (underappreciated in the enterprise)
The following Web 2.0 technologies have large and resilient ecosystems, according to Forrester, and can last for several years or even decades, but over time, the markets will become highly consolidated, customer numbers will flatten, and revenues will level off or decline:
- Podcasting is on the decline. Users tell Forrester that podcasts in the context of enterprise productivity and collaboration are neither very engaging nor immersive, and the vendor landscape is shrinking
- Forums are underused. While forums will continue on as a fundamental enabling technology for collaboration, the marketplace is flat, and forums will become part of larger community-focused packages
Bill Ives agrees with most of the reports findings, but believes mashups should be listed with the social networking and wikis as “significant” successful technologies. “In my discussions with vendors, mashups are being increasingly used as the application development platform underlying many tools,” says Ives in his post More from Forrester on the Future of Enterprise 2.0 Technologies.
“So it is both getting harder to separate them and they are becoming more pervasive. I think social bookmarks provide a useful utility that is getting integrated into other tools.” However, Bill cautions organizations who look at all or any of these tools as a stand-alone technology working in isolation.
“I see an increasing movement among vendors to provide integrated platforms that make use of a number of these tools. Even a very focus(ed) tool like ConnectbeamTraction combines social networking with social bookmarking and integrates it with search. Broader platforms like Traction make use of blogs, wikis, forums, and, most recently microblogging. Deki Wiki and Central Desktop combine many of these tools with a wiki platform under the covers.”
View the full report "Enterprise Web 2.0" and "Forrester TechRadar™ For Vendor Strategists: Enterprise Web 2.0" are currently available to Forrester RoleView™, and clients can purchase this directly at forrester.com).
Want to learn more about what others are doing? Take the Intranet 2.0 Global Survey and when the full results with including the good, bad and learned lessons.
Toby Ward is the CEO and founder of Prescient Digital Media. For more information on creating a social media strategy for internal audiences, check out Prescient's Intranet 2.0 Blueprint and download our updated Social Media Checklist.