Forrester Research has just released two reports concerning 'web 2.0' in the enterprise. Forrester recently surveyed 119 CIOs on the topic and their answers illustrate what IT honchos want Äì and don't want Äì from social software technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, social networking, and content tagging.
According to the report entitled CIOs Want Suites For Web 2.0, the enterprise Web 2.0 market "is beginning to consolidate". Apparently CIOs have a strong desire to purchase web 2.0 products "as a suite, as well as an equally strong desire to purchase these technologies from large, incumbent software vendors." 61% of respondents indicated that they would prefer both a suite solution and a large, incumbent vendor. According to the report, "integration issues, longevity concerns, and the occasional lack of polish" are counting against small vendors.
This is a worrying thing, to my mind, as there is so much innovation happening with enterprise web apps by startups. At least the likes of Zoho and ThinkFree are suites, but what about all the focused startups doing 'best of breed' apps? But it demonstrates once again the value of partnerships amongst web 2.0 companies, or just being outright acquired by a bigco (as e.g. JotSpot was by Google last year). Forrester actually notes the latter trend, saying that consolidation in the Web 2.0 market has been happening over the past 18 months - e.g. Google acquired Writely and JotSpot; Cisco acquired Five Across and Tribe.net; Yahoo! acquired del.icio.us; and Six Apart acquired Rojo Networks.
Forrester recommends that small players "partner to create a tightly integrated ecosystem to go head-to-head with the suites". Recent examples of this, noted by Forrester: SuiteTwo, WordPress and KnowNow have a joint offering, and Attensa is coupling with The Real Time Matrix. Indeed Read/WriteWeb has been covering this trend - see our reports on recent partnerships by Zoho and Omnidrive, and Central Desktop and EditGrid.
Forrester also recommends that bigcos, like Microsoft and Google, "go on a shopping spree for best-of-breed technologies." Again, this is a trend that Read/WriteWeb has been covering over the past year or so. Google has been the most active in this regard, snapping up Writely and JotSpot - two leading Web Office apps at the time they were acquired.
Another Forrester report, entitled 'Efficiency Gains And Competitive Pressures Drive Enterprise Web 2.0 Adoption', concludes that firms using Web 2.0 technologies "are driven by gains in worker efficiency and a fear of competitive pressures." Meanwhile non-adopters cite "a perceived lack of business value" in web 2.0 apps. It was also noted that wikis and RSS are the two Web 2.0 technologies most likely to be adopted, while enterprises are largely not interested in social networking and blogs - at least, they were the technologies most likely to be viewed as unnecessary.