IT Decision Makers Cautious in Adopting Web 2.0 in the Workplace

Only 27 percent of small businesses and 30 percent of government organizations have adopted Web 2.0.

by / June 18, 2008


More than 40 percent of IT decision makers across government and corporate sectors have rolled out Web 2.0 tools in their companies, but more than half of them may be hesitant to adopt such applications because of concerns about proper usage and security. According to a new survey of business and government organizations by CDW Corp., 31 percent worry that Web 2.0 will be used for personal use over work, 28 percent are concerned about information security, and 27 percent worry about employees wasting time.

Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in Web technology and Web design that seeks to enhance creativity, information sharing and collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of Web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis and blogs. Specific products frequently used for Web 2.0 applications include PDAs and laptops, which both enable teleworking and greater connectivity for employees.

"Organizations are recognizing the clear advantages of Web 2.0, even though there has been some hesitation among IT decision makers to adopt these tools," said CDW Vice President Mark Gambill, the company's executive responsible for market insights. "With the increased use of Web 2.0 functions like social networking and blogging as business tools, corporations are starting to re-evaluate tried and true ways of communicating."

According to CDW, Web 2.0 has gained momentum in some places. Fifty-three percent of IT decision makers across all sectors believe that Web 2.0 applications will substantially improve employee performance in the next five years. Web 2.0 is also seen as important in attracting and retaining the next generation of workers, with 68 percent and 61 percent of corporate and government IT decision makers, respectively, agreeing with that sentiment.

Additionally, the adoption curve for Web 2.0 applications currently has a trickle-down pattern. While 67 percent of large businesses have already implemented some form of Web 2.0 applications or tools, IT decision makers in medium-sized businesses fall slightly behind with 53 percent currently using Web 2.0. Only 27 percent of small businesses and 30 percent of government organizations have adopted Web 2.0.

"Large businesses have greater resources to experiment with new technologies and roll them out to specific sections of an organization over time," said Gambill. "However, Web 2.0 can also be an asset to small and medium-sized organizations by offering increased efficiency and productivity while being easier to implement. As the Web 2.0 landscape evolves, its proven benefits are likely to outweigh its perceived risks across all types of organizations."