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The Connected Web

Phil Wainewright

It's a Connected World

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This blog's overriding interest is in the use of Web technologies to connect people in business. As we start to wrap up another year, I'd like to draw your attention to a couple of useful resources that show how connected the world of business has now become. These two pieces of research bear out themes that I've referenced here over the year.

Just published is a new McKinsey report heralding The rise of the networked enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday. This is the latest in a series of global annual surveys carried out by the management consultant, which have been investigating attitudes to, and take up of, enterprise 2.0 technologies.

There's dramatic news from this latest report, which has found that enterprises that take advantage of Web 2.0 collaboration tools are more successful than those that don't. As summarized by the Financial Times, "companies using the Web intensively gain greater market share and higher margins."

More precisely, the research found that enterprises that foster collaboration and connections both internally and externally are most successful. Forbes blogger Rawn Shah has drilled into this part of the report and found that merely being connected is not enough on its own: what really counts is integrating collaboration into core workflows within the organization — "The better you can integrate into how people work, the more apparent the value."

This echoes a trend towards Ubiquitous Collaboration that I identified as one to watch right at the start of the year. Events quickly moved on, and by February I was asking, Can Enterprise 2.0 Apps Stand Alone?. Over the year, I think it's become evident that at the very least they need to integrate with other applications. One approach we saw emerging was the use of new tools for Integrating Process in the Cloud.

In many cases enterprise application vendors are going as far as building in their own social and collaboration tools. By whatever method the integration is achieved, use cases are starting to emerge that demonstrate the potential for Building Disruptive Business Structures in the Cloud.

Another large-scale survey of business attitudes I want to highlight is the Cisco Connected World report, a three-part study that has been published over the past three months. The findings highlight the rise of mobility in work patterns — for example, the research suggests that almost two-thirds of workers believe they don't have to be in the office to be productive. For these workers, being connected means much more than being on the corporate network at work; they expect to be able to access collaboration and core processes wherever they happen to be.

Of course, most organizations' IT policies have not yet caught up to this new working reality. Thus the research finds "a disconnect between IT policies and workers, especially as employees strive to work in a more mobile fashion and utilize numerous devices, social media, and new forms of communication such as video."

Phil Wainewright blogs about how businesses are using the Web to get better plugged into today's fast-moving, digital economy.

Phil Wainewright

Phil Wainewright specializes in on-demand services View more

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