CEO’s and Middle Management Differ Over the Importance of Web 2.0

18 Apr

 According to an Economist Intelligence Unit study, Web 2.0 is a C-level priority, but that the interest is not percolating down to mid-level managers. 


406 senior executives worldwide were polled and 79% of respondents see the collaborative web as a way to increase revenues and cut costs. A full 85% of C-level executives see the sharing and collaboration aspects of Web 2.0 as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins, versus 75% of middle management. 

This disconnect could lead to slow implementation, approval and budget allocation. 

The study, which consisted of in-depth interviews with corporate leaders as well as a global survey of senior executives, found that large companies are already using Web 2.0 tools and methods in a variety of ways.Most companies so far have focused mainly on creation of online communities that can provide insight into product marketing and/or product development.Wiki development was the second most used aspect of 2.0. 

From Manufacturing Talk:“Perhaps more interestingly, we expect to see Web 2.0 principles take off at the enterprise level, fundamentally changing how organisations innovate and execute.’ Other key findings of the report include the following.* Customers are helping to develop and support products – nearly 60% of the surveyed companies say that they are inviting customers to contribute content that explains, supports, promotes or enhances their products, or that they plan to do so within the coming two years.About half of companies say they are, or are planning to, treat customers as co-developers of products that are in a constant state of improvement.* Ease of acquiring and supporting customers provide the biggest financial benefits – most companies cited marketing and sales as an area where Web 2.0 could help to increase revenues, primarily through customer acquisition and service.Web 2.0 technologies were seen as a way to reduce costs in the areas of customer support, advertising and public relations, and product/service innovation.* Early adopters are to be found in many countries and industries – companies based in the USA, Germany, China, India and the
UK are among the early adopters of Web 2.0 tools and methods, according to the survey.
The top early-adopter industries are entertainment and media, technology, travel and tourism and professional services.* The C-suite is more enthusiastic than lower-level executives – a full 85% of C-suite executives see the sharing and collaboration aspects of Web 2.0 as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins, versus 75% of middle management.The C-suite is also more inclined to view Web 2.0 as transformative, affecting all parts of the business (35% versus 28%) and having a significant impact on the company’s business model (41% versus 22%).* CFOs are the most skeptical about the potential of Web 2.0 – compared to CEOs and the rest of the C-suite, CFOs lag in understanding and support of Web 2.0 initiatives.CFOs are less likely to view Web 2.0 as transformative, less likely to think that it will affect all parts of the business, and less likely say that it will change the company’s business model.They are also less optimistic than their C-suite peers about Web 2.0’s potential to increase revenue and margins. “ –  


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