Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

For more information about the congress, please visit www.interactcongress.eu

Monday, 26 March 2007

Forrester on Web 2.0 applications: the CIO factor

Since I noticed Forrester Research will be at Interact, I would like to share a recent Forrester survey with you. It’s about Web 2.0 applications and for once it’s not about what (online) marketing people think about it, but what CIO’s (Chief Information Officers) say.

Forrester found that CIO’s are generally interested in so-called Web 2.0 applications, including blogs, social networking applications, wiki’s, RSS, tagging and so on. Especially those applications with a clear user advantage are appealing to CIO’s. Think for instance about RSS as another way to communicate with customers.

However, Forrester also found that large companies tend to prefer big software companies over small Web 2.0 start-ups to buy these applications. They want them to be part of existing software suites (as many content management vendors for instance already do). And that, of course, is a challenge for the industry since many of the Web 2.0 applications are initiated by small, creative, starting companies that have the freedom and imaginative power to launch innovating concepts and ideas.

The fact that CIO’s seem to think from a user-centric perspective, as illustrated above, is great. However, CIO’s also have to think about the future of their corporate IT environment: issues like the integration within existing IT infrastructures, security and trustworthiness are crucial in their mindset. Apparently these values are fulfilled through the large software brands, at least in the CIO’s mind.

So what does this all mean? First of all it shows that new ways of establishing user-centric relationships are not only adopted by the marketing community but also by the IT staff (often first movers when it comes to using innovative IT technologies). Second of all it shows that there still are hurdles to overcome, amongst others from the supplier side. Partnerships between Web 2.0 start-ups and their peers or with larger software vendors are probably the future. This leads Forrester to conclude that a consolidation in the 2.0 software space might be underway.

Third of all maybe this is an issue for Interact: not only asking ‘what can all these fine new applications do for me (the advertiser/marketer) and my customer’ but also: what do I, as a marketer, should do in order to collaborate with my IT staff, and (probably at least as important) to convince my board. Interacting is not only with the external customer: it’s also with the ‘internal customer’: the rest of the company…

More about this topic: http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,41797,00.html

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