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Web 2.0 and the Corporation
Roundtable on Digital Strategies
June 19, 2007 - Palisades, NY
hosted by IBM

CIOs and other senior execs from 3M, BT Group, JPMorgan Chase, Cisco, DISA, Eastman Chemical, IBM, ING, Ogilvy, and Time Warner Cable were joined by academics from Tuck for this roundtable.

Eric Johnson
Video: Eric Johnson on Web 2.0 and related emerging technologies.

Press Release
PDF (18K)

PDF (10K)

List of Participants
PDF (11K)

Discussion Guide
PDF (30K)


Overview Article
PDF (126K)

The next generation of web applications—Google, MySpace, YouTube, Wesabe, iTunes, and Wikipedia—is indisputably changing how our society functions, blurring lines and boundaries more easily, including between work and pleasure, producer and consumer, one and many. In addition, our business environment will increasingly be impacted by Web 2.0-associated phenomena: blogs, social networking sites, user-generated content, software as a service, the transformation of video on the web, etc. These "tools" provide new opportunities and challenges.

In this roundtable, we explored the potential internal and external use of Web 2.0 to enable global collaboration, the impact on marketing and customer/ultimate consumer engagement, the changing environment for corporate communications and human resources, and the challenges of governance of this phenomenon for corporations. The participants' experiences and views yielded the following insights (see the Overview Article for a complete summary):

  1. The Web 2.0 phenomenon is characterized by immediacy, simplicity, transparency, non-hierarchical collaboration, virtual communities, and work/personal convergence.
  2. Web 2.0 represents a powerful new way to engage and build strong relationships with customers, and to improve collaboration internally and with business partners. Corporations will also be challenged to adopt Web 2.0 in order to retain and motivate top talent.
  3. Web 2.0 puts consumers even more firmly in the driver's seat and renders traditional communications, messaging, and marketing channels less effective.
  4. Web 2.0's inherent openness also carries risks: competitive, legal, and reputational. Corporations must decide how much to try to control, "channel," or systematize the use of Web 2.0 tools, at the risk of limiting their effectiveness, authenticity or ability to drive innovation.
  5. IT should be an enabler rather than a gatekeeper for Web 2.0, and all executives, especially in B2B companies, must help show how Web 2.0-enhanced customer loyalty or improved collaboration translates into tangible business value.
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