Reality confronts Hype – or is it the Next Big Shadow Market?

I imagine we’ll be seeing more of this, but after the lovefest from the e2.0 conference, I was disappointed to read this post in SearchSMB by Jeff Kelly who covered Dennis Moore speaking earlier this month at the IDC IT Forum & Expo in Boston:

So how do you foster a work environment that stresses access to real-time information, knowledge sharing and employee collaboration? You guessed it: Web 2.0.

Blogs, RSS and wikis are the equivalent today of the PC and voicemail 20 years ago, Moore said, and are the tools that will enable information workers to do their jobs more efficiently than ever before.

Surprising then, or is it, that of the 50 to 60 attendees listening to Moore’s presentation, exactly zero raised a hand when Moore asked how many currently worked at a company that uses any Web 2.0 technologies.

Even more flabbergasting, only half said they even had a reasonable grasp of what Web 2.0 means! And this is a room full of IT pros! Moore even had to explain what RSS was, and by the looks on some of the faces in the crowd, it was clear that it was news to them.

Dennis mentions in the talk that a lot of the enterprise 2.0 tools are coming in circumventing the IT department and that explains why the statistics out in the market don’t jibe with what IT is experiencing. I had a similar experience last month when I attended one of our customer events. I was chatting with a woman who is running a fairly significant project for a large financial services company on a wiki.  She said all the work, and all the contributing collaborators have been getting this done, “under the radar” of the IT department… she actually dipped in to tell me this as if “they” might overhear our conversation, (but IT wasn’t present at this conference). We were at the cocktail party and I wanted to know more, but we had to break to go back into our dinner.

I am really interested in exploring this area more with our clients. We are hosting a large, live webcast in the next few weeks where I’ll have the opportunity to answer questions directly from our customers about their adoption experiences with blogging, wikis, and other enterprise 2.0 initiatives. I may do some live polling on the audience, as well.

Author: Susan Scrupski

Longtime fan of technology to improve humanity.