Web 2.0: A Bottom to Top Approach

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.

One thought on “Web 2.0: A Bottom to Top Approach

  1. Colin,

    I could not agree with you and your friend more. At Helpstream we like to say social business applications are about connecting people to people AND people to information. This is not about structured data and reports for management. One of the things the social CRM industry need to address is how adoption of these solutions is much different. One of the ways we drive adoption is by attacking a specific business problem – customer service. By focusing on this problem exclusively, we have developed a solution that is designed to help address issues for both companies (cost) and users (getting problems solved). We have customers who have driven significant adoption in and began realizing a position ROI in only a few months. Great post!


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