Cisco Study Finds Web 2.0, Video Increase Collaboration


Cisco released a study on the use of video and Web 2.0 technology in businesses worldwide. The study revealed that as consumer adoption of video and Web 2.0 has grown, companies are increasingly interested in using video to help grow their businesses, reach customers, increase collaboration between their employees and look for more environmentally conscious means of communicating.

ebizQ received the following:

More than half of the 850 corporate information technology (IT) decision makers surveyed say they are using video and Web 2.0 tools today. Another 25 percent said they are exploring such tools. However, nearly all those surveyed said more needs to be done to ready the network before they can implement video and Web 2.0 technologies to support organization-wide communication and collaboration.

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Video and Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, Wikis, telepresence and web conferencing are helping companies to keep pace with rapid market changes. Nearly 30 percent of companies surveyed reported that the primary business reason for investing in video and Web 2.0 tools is to address the demand for innovative products and services from their customers. The desire to be more environmentally conscious (26 percent) was also reported as a consideration in rolling out video applications.

"The tipping point for mainstream enterprise adoption of video and Web 2.0 technologies will depend on how clearly business cases establish the link with business growth and competitive advantage," said Marie Hattar, senior director of network systems for Cisco. "With the increased globalization and spread of the enterprise workforce, IT's role is expanding from managing network operations to also shaping a business's impact by innovating how employees, customers and partners communicate and collaborate."

In this era of the dynamic, collaborative knowledge worker, which is seeing a growing importance in global teaming, and a flatter, more interactive organization, enterprises need to innovate with their communication tools to be more agile in response to market changes. Nearly half the respondents anticipate using video more widely in the next five years, with more efficient collaboration with remote employees (66 percent) and reduced travel costs (56 percent) as the business drivers.

"At JWT, a multidisciplinary global communications company, the self-expression and collaboration of ideas across our network, clients and partners is paramount. The heart of which runs on a 'glocalized' network," said James Hudson, chief information officer--Worldwide, JWT. "Technology enables this collaboration through self-forming communities supported by Web2.0 initiatives."

Noteworthy is the fact that in the United States, companies that plan to use video conferencing technologies in the next five years are also most likely to be faster-growing companies, as measured by fiscal year growth. On the otherhand, the fast-growing companies in Europe and the emerging markets are most likely to use Web 2.0 tools in the next five years.

"Collaboration can be a game changer for organizations," said John Kaltenmark, global managing director of Accenture Technology Consulting. "Not only are collaboration technologies critical to enhancing efficiency and productivity, but they can also play a key role in creating a more environmentally responsible workplace. However, in order for this promise to be truly realized, IT has to work hand in hand with the business to implement a long-term strategy that places these technologies in the broader business context, thus enabling business growth."

Additional key findings from the study include the following:

  • Aside from cost, the biggest barrier to deploying video was challenges associated with maintaining a secure network (27 percent).

  • Respondents agreed that IT complexity will increase as companies resolve how to deploy video and Web 2.0 technologies on top of existing collaboration applications.

  • Only a small percentage of companies report that their network is ready to support video; the leading barriers are insufficient bandwidth and a lack of network infrastructure.

  • Decision-makers in the United States are more likely to state that their network is increasing in complexity, becoming more costly to manage while enabling greater mobility.

The new study includes responses from more than 850 corporate IT decision makers from companies with more than 1,000 employees in seven countries: the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Russia and Brazil. The research was written and analyzed in the fall of 2007 by an independent international third-party market research firm, Illuminas.

Keep up with the lightning-fast changes of Web 2.0 by getting ebizQ's weekly Web 2.0 newsletter right in your in-box. Sign up here.

The study and key findings will be spotlighted by Cisco network systems executive Marie Hattar as part of a live Internet TV broadcast today from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT. She will discuss how companies are tackling the challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0 and video technologies. An interactive conversation will be held with James Hudson, CIO of global communications company JWT and Ira Weinstein, a 15 year veteran of the conferencing industry and Partner with analyst firm Wainhouse Research (to attend, log on to

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