IT Managers Question ROI of Web 2.0

In this Brass Media blog post there is a reference to an IT World Canada article regarding IT managers assessment of Web 2.0 and issues in measuring ROI. Of course there are. With all due respect, IT managers are in most part very familiar with assessing technology from the ROI perspective. Sometimes what they miss out on is how the rest of the organization measures value. The good news is that the IT managers polled see some value in some of the Web 2.0 tools – particularly RSS. What they see as the least valuable tool are blogs.

Maybe some of these IT managers should start blogging. One of the common complaints against an IT department is their lack of communication with their clients. A blog is a great way to communicate your vision and direction you have for IT in your enterprise. Sorry guys but it looks like you’re thinking tactical again – not strategic. Is this the same mindset that thirty years ago said ‘personal computers are nice toys, but for real computing you need a mainframe’? My opinion on this report is that it is exactly what I’d expect IT managers to say about Web 2.0 ROI – it would aid them in dealing with staff shortages, a very tactical use, but they miss the strategic value on the rest of it.

It also supports my point about how Web 2.0 should be a global, enterprise wide initiative. Not driven by just IT, marketing, PR or HR departments. The value from Web 2.0 comes from helping humans work and collaborate and communicate – not just in up’ing the number of ‘widgets’ produced in an hour. From this improved collaboration comes innovation, empowerment, contribution, increased awareness of the enterprise and it’s people, and the list goes on. Definitely ‘soft’ returns, but extremely valuable to the enterprise none the less. This is just from the internal facing point of view and dosen’t take in the value to customer service.

Come on guys…think strategic not just tactical.

Dean Owen

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