I spoke with a friend this weekend that works for a New York-based IT outsourcer and had a brief, but engaging conversation about Web 2.0. More specifically, we put some historically context around Web 2.0 and how it’s adoption and drivers for adoption are vastly different from previous technologies.
Web 2.0 is the latest wave in corporate technology, but it could have more far-reaching impact than technologies adopted in the 1990s – such as ERP, supply chain management, or CRM. Unlike enterprises solutions such as these, Web 2.0 differs in the fact that these Web-based tools have a strong bottom-up element and engage a broad range of workers, not simply a subset. And as my friend pointed out, they demand a mind-set different from earlier IT programs, which have typically been instituted from above.
With CRM, we always talk about end-user training and participation as a fundamental key to success. But unlike ERP or CRM, where most users are either processing information from reports or using the technology to execute transactions, Web 2.0 is more interactive and requires users to generate new information themselves.
In short, previous business technologies forgot about the underused human potential associated with a technologies success. This bottom to top approach will lead to far-ranging impact and success, more so than previous IT trends or technologies, thanks primarily to the end-users, as opposed to executives and IT departments.