The Opportunity for Web 2.0 in the Enterprise
Dislocations cause business opportunities, new marketplaces and new models of commerce. This latest dislocation is no different than previous dislocations as can bee seen from the huge number of small dynamic startups that there are in the Web 2.0 space. As in previous dislocations we will see many of these business techniques and technologies move into the enterprise and provide new marketplaces and opportunities.
Whilst there will be opportunity in the IT space caused by the ability to outsource services and use new tools and software in the organization to improve productivity and team working the real opportunity in the short term will be in the business side of the enterprise.
The most interesting and potentially most profitable use of Web 2.0 techniques in the Enterprise is however in the customer facing areas of organizations and in a few specialist internal business areas. The specialist areas are things like product development where customer involvement and discussion in product design and development via blogs, wikis and discussion forums is a very fertile area for innovation and development. The other internal area which could benefit from these techniques is training where the use of video, VOIP, messaging, chat and even mobile delivery has considerable and extensive potential.
In terms of customer facing activities the whole of the customer contact, sales and customer relationship management cycle will be revolutionized by the Web 2.0 tools and techniques that are in common use in the consumer space. In marketing the opportunity to provide rich, interactive media and close customer interactivity through wiki's and blogs will provide new ways of contacting and engaging with potential customers. In sales the use of new form factor devices such as mobile phones to interact with the customer throughout the sales process is another area for new development. Finally in customer support the use of video to assist with problem resolution and blogs and wiki's for self help will create whole new support models.
All these areas can be made to be self funding through the use of advertising based models in the IT systems. It is certainly possible to think of the new marketing being a profit center for the organization.
Web 2.0 will create a huge new range of ways of interacting with customers and consumers for enterprises of all sizes that in turn will provide new marketplaces, business opportunities and revenue generation.