Monday, July 30, 2007

Business Value Of Web 2.0 Tools Hard To Measure

Business IT pros said Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, generated the highest value while blogging produced the lowest, the Forrester Research survey shows.

While Web 2.0 technologies are beginning to take root in businesses, measuring the value of the cutting-edge tools remain elusive for most companies, a research firm said Friday.

Nearly two out of three IT decision-makers surveyed by Forrester Research said their companies used traditional value metrics, such as return on investment and total cost of ownership, to evaluate success or failure of Web 2.0 deployments. Yet, rather than point to hard facts, such as support center calls offset by a self-service rich Internet application or Web site traffic from an RSS feed, respondents more often pointed to softer benefits, such as business efficiency and competitive advantage as the true value of Web 2.0 in their companies.

As a result, Forrester believes that many businesses will shy away from adopting Web 2.0 tools, or wait to expand their use, until they are able to better quantify the business value. The researcher's finding was in line with a recent survey by InformationWeek, which found more than half of business technology pros either skeptical about blogs, wikis, online social networks, and other new Web tools, or willing -- but wary -- about adopting them.

Did they consider the value of improved search engine visibility? Did they examine customer relations, especially customer retention? Did they compare blogging to other marketing tools?

1 comment:

Bob Geller said...

I am not surprised by the study. First off, Web 2.0 itself is an amorphous concept - many could and do debate what it is and which technologies it encompases. Second, it is just technology while it is the application of technology that is important and can lead to quantifiable benefits. I bet if they were to look into specific areas where Web 2.o technologies are well integrated into applications that support lines of business, they would see a return. Finally, it is true that many of the benfits that Web 2.0 delivers - improved collaboration, organization and discoverability of info are soft and hard to measure.