Home 2008: The Year Web 2.0 Hits the Enterprise, Says Forrester

2008: The Year Web 2.0 Hits the Enterprise, Says Forrester

According to Forrester Research, there will be “strong demand” for web 2.0 tools in the enterprise in 2008. Even though 42% of enterprises say adding web 2.0 tools is not on their agenda, according to a Q3 2007 survey, Forrester expects that half of those will change their mind and embrace web 2.0 tools by year end. In the report “Top Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions For 2008,” analyst Oliver Young gives three reasons why he thinks 2008 is the year that “IT departments will take their heads out of the sand and embrace web 2.0 technologies.”

For the sake of clarity, Forrester’s definition of web 2.0 is, “A set of technologies and applications that enable efficient interaction among people, content, and data in support of collectively fostering new businesses, technology offerings, and social structures.”

Young gives three reasons he things deployment of web 2.0 will sneak onto enterprise agendas in 2008:

  1. IT guys are already using web 2.0 – According to Young, many IT departments and shops have been using web 2.0 tools for internal tasks like project management and support ticketing. The utility of these deployments will encourage them to push web 2.0 tools out more broadly in the enterprise.
  2. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – When big business is unable to stem the use of Software as a Service tools and things like social networks by employees, rather than allow untested software and services on their networks, they will “mitigate risk by deploying enterprise-class tools in their stead.”
  3. They make you look cool – “For IT departments aspiring to be more relevant to the business,” writes Young, “enterprise web 2.0 tools will be a high-impact, low-cost method to show leadership and innovation.”

RSS Will Lead the Way

Forrester predicts that RSS will be the most popularly deployed web 2.0 tool in the enterprise over the coming year. “Forrester expects 2008 to be a banner year for RSS and specifically enterprise RSS,” says Young, concluding that many of the companies that discovered utility in blogs and wikis last year will realize that RSS is necessary to push that content to users. “While 9% of enterprise firms expect to consider the use of RSS in 2008, we believe that number will be close to 20% by year-end.”

But while RSS might be the most important driver of enterprise web 2.0 adoption in 2008, Forrester expects social networking to still be the buzz word du jour. “Expect the adoption of social networking solutions for business to accelerate dramatically in 2008 with many firms looking for internal social networking solutions,” predicts the research firm.

While Forrester expects the big boys — IBM, Jive, etc. — to rule the roost, they note that “nearly any vendor that uses the term ‘social networking’ will get at least some consideration.” Though, Forrester also expects Microsoft SharePoint to “steamroll” the market, and will reap the most rewards from a shift toward web 2.0 thinking in the enterprise market.

Though the report puts a lot of stock in RSS and social networking, according to their enterprise survey, the technologies that more enterprises are actually planning to invest in over the next 12 months are discussion boards and wikis. Forrester, though, expects that it is these technologies that will drive the further adoption of RSS.

What do you think? Is the enterprise ready for web 2.0? Has web 2.0 already arrived in the enterprise? Lets us know in the comments below.

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