Intranet 2.0 not a priority for CIO's

By Toby Ward — The single most credible survey I’ve found to date confirms what I’ve been saying for some time: Web 2.0 is still a lot of hype, and not a priority for many.

A Robert Half Technology survey of 1,400 CIOs in the U.S. found:

• 14% of organizations use blogs
• 13% use social tagging software
• 11% use wikis

Meanwhile, more traditional technologies are far more popular:

• Online training is used by 47% of the organizations
• Video conferencing is used by 34%
• Collaborative workspaces (e.g. SharePoint) is used by 24%

Now here’s the killer: 72% of CIOs have no plans to use blogs in the next 5 years; 74% have no plans to use wikis. (The results were from a scientifically representative telephone survey of 1400 CIOs, not a self-select, voluntary web survey).

I’ve said many times that Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0 is still a truckload of hype and not a priority for most organizations. However, I’ve also said in the recent months that it should be a priority. Those organizations that have implemented these tools are showing impressive rewards and benefits – at the expense of the competition.

Sadly, these CIOs may have bigger and better priorities, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of innovation and employee investment. There is a global talent crunch and two of the most critical competitive advantages in an already strained global economy are employee retention and recruitment. Whether you’re ready or not, your organization can no longer ignore Intranet 2.0.

A Telindus survey of more than 1,000 European office workers found that employees have begun to demand Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0 tools:

  • 39% of 18 to 24 year-olds would consider leaving if they were not allowed to access sites like Facebook and YouTube
  • A further 21% indicated that they would feel ‘annoyed’ by such a ban
  • The problem is less acute with 25 to 65 year-olds, of whom just 16% would consider leaving and 13% would be annoyed

Employees are reading blogs on the web, contributing to wikis, listening to podcasts, and networking via Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, or others. Moreover, they’re probably talking about your organization, and you’re not part of the conversation.

Before they implemented their own employee social networking site, MyBT, BT (British Telecom) discovered that 4,000 employees had voluntarily joined a BT Facebook community in their own time. Employees were connecting online, in their own time, talking about BT, and BT wasn’t part of the conversation.

I’ve cited many more examples with links to many other case studies in The power of Intranet 2.0.

Most CIOs don’t have a clue; they’re focused on network consolidation, outsourcing, CRM, and security. Web 2.0 isn’t a priority for the vast majority of organizations because they’ve yet to see the value. And while the value was not forthcoming or hardly measurable 2 or 3 years ago, the hype has turned into measurable benefits for some prescient organizations that have looked beyond the hype, and taken the time to listen to employee needs. Those advanced organizations that are using Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0 tools today will reap the rewards soon thereafter and leave the competition clamoring.

Want to learn more about what others are doing? View the Intranet 2.0 Global Survey

Toby Ward is the CEO and founder of Prescient Digital Media. For more information on creating a social media strategy for internal audiences, check out Prescient's Intranet 2.0 Blueprint and download our updated Social Media Checklist.

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