Friday, October 30, 2009

Popular Web 2.0 apps drive collaboration for enterprises

By John Brand, research director, Hydrasight: | Oct 30, 2009

About a third of enterprises already have enterprise Web 2.0 in place as collaborative tools in their respective companies, while many are seeing increased interest in new tools, research from IT industry analyst research firm Hydrasigh suggest.

The Singapore specific results reveal that there is just as much commitment and confusion around enterprise web 2.0 relative to other respondents. Though the country specific data in this particular study is scant, Singapore-based respondents revealed trends and thinking that are generally consistent with other Hydrasight research findings.

Specifically, organizations are fairly evenly split in thinking between believing that enterprise web 2.0 is more hype than reality, and that it is a must-have at some point. While the general feeling and approach of Singapore-based organizations is relatively consistent, Hydrasight also notes that differences do apply.

Consistent with other prior Hydrasight research, Singapore based organizations placed a higher emphasis on the knowledge management aspects of enterprise web 2.0 relative to Australian-based organizations. Hydrasight notes that Australian based organizations consistently tend to be considerably more cynical, simplistic and primarily driven by basic collaboration, information and records management requirements over those based in Singapore.

Singapore-based respondents also indicated that they have yet to implement enterprise web 2.0—but have a desire to do so. The differences in thinking may help to explain why Singapore-based respondents are slower in adopting the technology. Hydrasight observes that business case development and measuring the anticipated benefits of enterprise web 2.0 remains a barrier to adoption. By focusing on knowledge management aspects of the technology, Singapore-based respondents may be failing to convince the business of the anticipated benefits.

Data visualization also had greater appeal for Singapore-based respondents relative to other participants. Again, the sample is extremely small in this particular study. However, the alignment to other Hydrasight research suggests this is also a consistent difference with Singapore-based companies. Ultimately, Hydrasight observes that Singapore-based organizations have an enthusiasm and expectation of technology capabilities that is at the optimistic end of the scale. However, the business benefits remain hard to identify and to communicate to the business.

Social analytics rated poorly for adoption, again, indicating that organizations have yet to understand how best to use social analytics and the potential negative view it has in relation to personal privacy. This is somewhat ironic though as Singapore has traditionally been overly-optimistic with technical capabilities. This is one area where we would have expected to see more interest. Hydrasight expects that the low level of stated interest in social analytics is that it does (potentially) impinge on the freedoms and liberties of employees. It therefore can become viewed as a constraining technology, rather than an enabler.

Singapore based respondents cited challenges with technical complexity and the lack of maturity around enterprise web 2.0. This suggests that those organizations may have already had early experiences with the technology (based on their general enthusiasm as described previously) but have so far had little success in implementing it. Hydrasight observes that the successful adoption of enterprise web 2.0 is heavily dependent on the maturity of change management processes and practices within the organisation.

This includes social/cultural change but also change management from a technology perspective. Because enterprise web 2.0 is a continually evolving and adapting technology solution, organizations must be operationally excellent to be able manage the continuous (and relentless) process of technical and functional improvement demanded by users.

Ultimately, Hydrasight observes that, while Singapore-based organizations remain generally more optimistic with newer technologies than those in other Asia Pacific regions, enterprise web 2.0 represents a significant challenge based on the lack of clarity of business expectations and the inability to efficiently manage the technology. Hydrasight believes enterprise web 2.0 will therefore take some time to develop and mature in Singapore-based markets and that vendors will have an opportunity to exploit the immaturity of the market for at least the next 2-5 years.