The Infosys Labs research blog tracks trends in technology with a focus on applied research in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

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How do web 2.0 technologies really impact business processes?

As I think about the linkage between web 2.0 tools and collaborative behavior in an enterprise, I came across a great article that brought a lot of clarity to my thoughts -

What this article really covers is the styles of collaboration that are adopted by knowledge workers and best fit technology and tools that support these styles of collaboration. This provides a method that simplifies the analysis of the collaborative needs of an enterprise and increases the robustness of the decision making on the acquisition and application of the right web 2.0 technologies.

The big question then arises - can web 2.0 technology get implemented in a prescriptive manner or through top-down policies for certain kind of work processes and workforce style within an enterprise?

In my view developed through personal experience and reading reports, it is clear to me that web 2.0 technologies enhance and explode the interaction possibilities that would otherwise not be possible due to constraints imposed by time, availability, relationship and trust and corporate budgets. Hence while we are redesigning processes to take advantage of these technologies, it is important not to hardcode technology with business activities but instead to provide a range of technologies that can be chosen by knowledge workers to increase their effectiveness. In a way this is like keeping all channels open for interaction between customers and customer support function whether the channel is telephone, web, email or physical service desk. The choice of which channel to use ultimately rests with the customer and so should be the case with knowledge workers.

So I would recommend companies to plan for an infrastructure that encompasses all possible methods of collaboration and let the basket of web 2.0 technologies be available to processes with high interactivity needs!

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