10 Web 2.0 Apps CIOs Personally Use

Sonian is promoting the concept that mid-sized organizations can benefit most from a hosted archive service that embraces “web 2.0″ usability traits; such as dynamic AJAXy web UI’s that are intuitive and require no training, frictionless sign up and free trials, simplified work flow that leverages tagging and data categorization, and maintenance free (for the adopting customer) infrastructure.

I have been closely watching the up-take in web 2.0 applications and services being used in more and larger organizations. And others are starting to study this trend as well.

Over the past month major IT analysts like Gartner and Forrester have surveyed the attitudes and trends IT executives have about web 2.0 technologies.

It’s useful to define how the term web 2.0 is used here. “Web 2.0″ is a broad catch-all term to describe everything from YouTube, Digg and Del.icio.us, to Basecamp, Facebook, and WordPress. For this post, web 2.0 means a web service that is easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and offers a focused feature set to solve a specific problem. Web 2.0 is most likely used for collaboration, project and personal/group information management. A key trait is a typical web 2.0 application can be adopted at the individual or departmental level.

We have seen this trend before: knowledge workers have a problem that needs to be solved, IT may not act quickly, so a solution is adopted “under the radar.” Email in the early 1990′s came in the enterprise at departmental levels before being deployed top-down across the organization. PDA’s and Blackberry’s followed the same “ground-up” enterprise penetration.

The survey results below show that CIO’s are starting to personally use classic web 2.0 services like wiki’s, blogs, and business-focused social networking tools. This could mean we’ll start to see a “top-down” implementation of web 2.0 in the enterprise.

Which of the following Web applications do you use personally?

Video over the web54%
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)47
Social networking (e.g., tagging, social bookmarks, community sites such as del.icio.us, LinkedIn, Technorati)33
Expertise location and sharing21
Virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life)12
Instant mobile updates (e.g., Twitter)11
None of the above11

Source: CIO Insight, August 2007

IT departments need to understand how strategically deployed web 2.0 IT services can be a good thing for the organizations they serve. Eventually end-users will find the solutions they desire (often times end-users are closest to and most knowledgeable about, their own needs.)

IT should get ahead of the web 2.0 movement.