2.0 takes off but benefits are not yet fully realized

A new report in McKinsey Quarterly on “Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise” suggests that companies around the world continue to deploy more Web 2.0 tools, but they have not yet figured out how to realize desired benefits yet.

Web20toolsOn average, the typical company responding to the McKinsey survey uses 3.4 Web 2.0 technologies including Web services, blogs, RSS, wikis, podcasts, social networking, peer-to-peer, and mash-ups (Web application that combines multiple sources of data into a single tool).

However, only 21% of respondents expressed overall satisfaction with Web 2.0 tools and an equal portion were dissatisfied. It wasn’t entirely clear from the data why that’s the case–though there was some suggestion based on data related to barriers to success of 2.0 initiatives–but there clearly is a long way to go (not surprisingly, given the nascent nature of 2.0).

From my perspective, the most interesting data relates to how companies have deployed 2.0 technologies to interface with customers (vs. for internal use or for interfacing with partners/suppliers). The top reasons from respondents:

  • 73% — Improving customer service
  • 71% — Acquiring new customers in existing markets
  • 53% — Getting customer participation in product development
  • 53% — Letting customers interact
  • 23% — Providing for other customer interactions

These all seem like good reasons for health care organizations to deploy 2.0 technologies–both for economic and quality-of-care reasons.

It will be interesting to watch over the next three to five years to see how much of that change will come from inside or outside of traditional health care organizations. If the former doesn’t happen soon, I think it’s likely that the latter could dramatically change the way care gets delivered in this country.

Joshua Seidman is the president of of the Center for Information Therapy
that aims to provide the timely prescription and availability of
evidence-based health information to meet individuals’ specific needs
and support sound decision making.

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  1. Agreed.
    Most Web 2.0+ changes to organizations are driven from outside, by the consumers using their services, and demanding or expecting a certain level of interaction. That will almost certainly be the case in health care, traditionally one of the stodgiest and conservative of industries.
    As is often the case with these technologies, it’s less a matter of people “demanding” them, than simply going elsewhere to competitors who offer them. When your average Joe or Jane uses text messaging, Twitter, feed readers, and iPhones or Blackberries, it’s awfully darned convenient for them to communicate to their health care providers using the same, convenience-inducing means. Those providers and medical groups/entities that offer that kind of access will get the nod.
    Those that don’t….