Recently, the McKinsey Quarterly ran an interesting article on the results of their survey on How Business are Using Web 2.0 technologies, which rely on user collaboration, including Web services, peer-to-peer networking, blogs, podcasts, and online social networks. They found that there was widespread careful interest in the trend, that most respondents expressed satisfaction with their investments to date and that they viewed Web 2.0 technologies as strategic, but that most companies were placing the greatest importance on the technologies that enable automation and networking.
When asked what their companies might have done differently during the past 5 years to make more effective investments in Web 2.0 technologies, in hindsight 42% of companies said they invested at the right time but should have invested more in internal capabilities, 24% said they should have invested sooner, and 18% would not have done anything differently. In other words, 84% have a strong belief in the value of Web 2.0 technologies.
The most popular bets that companies are using or planning to use are web services at 80%, collective intelligence at 48%, and peer-to-peer networking at 47%. Even though Web 2.0 is best known for blogs, podcasts, wikis, mash-ups, and RSS, most companies are more interested in the tools that connect all of the stakeholders together. This is backed up by the fact that the fourth most popular bet is social networking at 37%.
However, one of the most interesting points was that interest in Web 2.0 was highest in retail, and not high tech, and that investment interest in India significantly surpasses interest in China by 16%. Does this mean that forwarding thinking companies believe that Web 2.0 technology can be used to overcome many of the infrastructure short comings that plague India compared to China and put India on more even footing? I’m not sure, but it’s a very good question. Any thoughts?