Businesses need to consider smarter and easier technologies this year to operate more cost-effectively and with greater efficiency.
Productivity and bottom-line savings are hugely important and we think Web 2.0 and web-based collaboration technologies may offer an advantage.
The phenomenal growth in Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook and YouTube will likely slow. However, their benefits are equally likely to increase, as application consolidation boosts innovation.
Some companies are exploring Twitter or Facebook-like applications for communication purposes. This may boost information-sharing, productivity and creativity.
Collaborative Web 2.0 applications can help businesses that employ a mobile workforce, serving participants in virtually any location, with flexible schedules.
Web 2.0 is proliferating, which itself makes it more cost-effective and reliable for businesses that wish to bring together multiple parties without the time and expense of travel.
Productive use of such applications can create business agility, simply because staff connected using such technologies can communicate anywhere, any time.
The emergence of Web 2.0 within business is also likely to gain greater popularity as younger people enter – and influence – the workforce.
For many organisations, though, the challenge is how to harness Web 2.0 technologies while mitigating risk.
Web 2.0 is seen as uncharted ground and associated more with consumer recreation than business processes.
Some will inevitably point to risks around security, policy compliance, information reliability and licensing. However, we believe this will be minimised as the technology matures and the benefits accrue.
We are seeing a trend for CIOs to adopt Web 2.0 to deliver new approaches to information creation, publishing, aggregation, discovery and validation.
There is no doubt that those technologies that deliver real operational and capital cost reductions, while at the same time improving business agility, will be in the vanguard of the market’s recovery.
Andrew Watson is sales and marketing director at WTG
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