Posts Tagged ‘ Opensource ’

Web 2.0 Usage in Corporate

Actual network data from FaceTime Communications reveals that employee use of Web 2.0 applications such as Instant Messaging, IPTV, VoIP and Social Networking on corporate networks exceeds IT estimates by up to 10 times. FaceTime also today announced version 2.0 of its Unified Security Gateway (USG), a secure Web gateway purpose-built for the new Internet to provide a single point of control for preventing malware, controlling Web 2.0 applications and managing information leakage in corporate networks. The new USG gives IT managers capabilities to detect and apply powerful policies to an unprecedented 1,400 Web 2.0 and real-time applications in use by employees.

During fourth quarter 2008, FaceTime collected live traffic data from commercially deployed USG units at more than 80 mid to large enterprises worldwide, representing the daily Web-based activities of more than 100,000 corporate workers. In parallel, FaceTime asked a large sample of IT managers how many Web 2.0 applications they believed were in use on their networks; one third estimated the number at less than eight. In reality, FaceTime’s actual network data shows an average of 49 Web 2.0 applications installed across all reporting locations.

Table: IT Manager estimates vs. actual traffic data


                                       Percentage of IT     Percentage of
                                         Managers who       locations that
                                       thought app was    show at least one
                                        being used in      endpoint using
                                        their location        the app
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Social Networking                            60%                100%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Instant Messaging                            66%                100%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Web based IM                                 35%                97%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Streaming Audio/video                        80%                94%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
IPTV                                         10%                100%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
P2P File Sharing                             54%                96%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Web Conferencing                             82%                83%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
VoIP                                         40%               100%
                                      -----------------  -----------------
Anonymizers                                  15%                74%

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public sector how to approach Web 2.0

The key to successful public sector implementation of Web 2.0 tools is to evaluate potential benefits of citizen-centric governance against both costs and inevitable risks associated with any new technology, says a new report by Accenture.

The idea of government involvement with social media or Web 2.0 technologies has been at the heart of many conversations the last few years. “Gov 2.0″ has been widely, and some might say wrongly, embodied by the likes of Senator Charles Grassely (R-Iowa), former Governor Sara Palin (R-Ak.) and others who use Twitter to muse, protest, and inform.

Like the multitude of technologies falling under the heading of social-networking or collaborative-communication, government stands to benefit in many ways, if only they could figure out how to pair the tools of Web 2.0 with their constituents’ needs.

The key to successful public sector implementation of Web 2.0 tools is to evaluate potential benefits of citizen-centric governance against both costs and inevitable risks associated with any new technology, says a new report (.pdf) from Accenture.

In a new report, “Web 2.0 and the Next Generation of Public Service,” Accenture analysts and researchers outline the tenets of effective Web 2.0 practices in the public sector by using the Accenture Public Service Value Governance Framework.

The Governance Framework consists of four main criteria, simply stated as: outcomes, balance, engagement and accountability.

“The governance framework provides an evaluation structure that can help decision makers discern and articulate the value of Web 2.0 technologies in terms of how they contribute to the genuine engagement of people in their governance,” Sean Shine, Managing Director of Accenture’s Systems Integration & Technology group, wrote in the report.

The report says good Web 2.0 tools focus on improved social and economic outcomes, balance choice and flexibility with fairness and common good, allow citizens to engage in the production of public value, and clarify accountability by facilitating public recourse.

Accenture framework

Accenture’s findings are the result of previous research, based on the company’s experience working with government agencies around the world and through an ongoing research initiative called the Global Cities Forum. In the report, several of these experiences are highlighted, including projects in Australia, Norway, New York City, and the state of California. Accenture has worked with several partners including Oracle and Microsoft to implement Web 2.0 solutions to do everything from helping a tax agency offer more personalization and a better interaction style, to increase a city’s budget transparency, to crowd source a museum’s name.

“Web 2.0 technologies should be of increasing interest because they support a broader evolution in public service: a new relationship with government that is about genuine engagement of people in their own governance,” Mr. Shine wrote.

The report also outlines several risk factors involved with Web 2.0 adoption and some of the ways public sector agencies can get started identifying the best kinds of social media technologies to use.

Some of the pitfalls that have hindered adoption of Web 2.0 tools in the public sector, according to the report, include problems between the sometimes competing interests of transparency and information control, increased security and data privacy risks, infrastructure and bandwidth strain, as well as compliance and administrative burdens unforeseen when undertaking new initiatives.

Finally, the report outlines seven things to consider when launching a public sector Web 2.0 project. Among the seven is the need to understand the constituencies being served, developing clear goals and strategic plans to drive clear outcomes, as well as setting up clear information sharing policies and working with a “beta mindset”.

“Web 2.0 technologies resonate with governments because these technologies support a deeper engagement of people in their own governance,” Greg Parston, director of Accenture’s Institute for Public Service Value said in a statement. “The shift is really being driven by citizens, and public-sector leaders are responding by figuring out how to use Web 2.0 technologies to improve services to, and more deeply engage with, their citizens.”

See related stories:
Lockheed develops open source social media framework
Social media keeps employees’ heads in the game
A golden age for civil servants: How Generation Y will change government

Web 2.0: Just another technology?

Ever since the PC snuck into corporate America through the departmental back door, CIOs have been dogged by the stereotype of being hidebound and slow to adapt to technical change. The accusation has surfaced once again in light of Web 2.0, a trend that incorporates collaboration technologies such as blogs, wikis and social networking sites.

As corporate users embrace Web 2.0 technologies, they have stirred a debate about just how much CIOs need to know in order to manage these new tools. Do they have to start blogging on a daily basis, or can these tasks be delegated?

Some see this as a typical new technology adoption cycle, in which the technology in question crosses over from the consumer side and infiltrates the enterprise. “This is just like any kind of new technology; rewind the tape 10 years and we have this conversation about cell phones,” said Renee Baker Arrington, vice president of Pearson Partners International Inc., a Dallas-based executive placement firm.

But others see CIOs being left behind. According to Lynda Radosevich, a New York-based consultant specializing in social media, CIOs are certainly not at the forefront of Web 2.0 technology implementations. “It’s only in a few rare cases that the CIOs are initiators of social networking projects. We see business heads of local departments initiating these, while IT tends to come in with worries about security and privacy,” she said. In fact, Radosevich said some vendors bypass the CIO and sell directly to the business side of the house.

The key to bringing the value of Web 2.0 technologies into full flower seems to lie in how well CIOs evaluate each technology, not whether they personally use such tools.

“There are two different perspectives on this,” said Tony Young, CIO of Informatica Corp. in Redwood City, Calif. “One is what’s the business use for them, and the other is what the implications are of some of these tools in terms of workforce productivity.”

Young has evaluated social networking sites as well as other Web 2.0 tools for their business worth, and proceeded accordingly. For him, this involves a basic conceptual understanding of each technology and the ability to understand its business value. “For example, MySpace, in my opinion, doesn’t have value as a business tool in my enterprise,” he said. “But technologies like wikis, blogs, webcasting and podcasting are all tools that we are leveraging and that users are embracing in various ways.”

Keep your technological skills up

These are skills that every CIO ought to already command, noted Martha Heller, managing director in the IT Leadership Practice at Z Resource Group Inc., an executive search group in Westboro, Mass. “In the same way that CIOs need to be aware of SOA or Web services, they need to be aware of the different technologies coming down the path and which will have an impact and which won’t,” she said. “I don’t see that as revolutionary.”

The true test lies in how quickly CIOs can embrace and integrate new technologies. “The CIO role should be to look at how people are using these tools and integrate them into what the company already uses,” Radosevich said. “By sussing out and making technologies available, they can centralize the usage of Web 2.0 technologies.”

Jeff Patterson, vice president of business technology at Visible Path Corp. in Foster City, Calif., has taken this tack, implementing and managing most of his company’s Web 2.0 technology through the IT group. He claims there is a business value to doing so. For example, his company uses subscription newsgroups that work like email lists but are accessible and organized by content.

“We worry that groups will set up their own email alias groups,” he said. “That gives us no central repository, and information can get lost, so we encourage people to just let us know what they want and we’ll make the tools available.”

It’s all about being receptive, Young agreed. “We don’t want to be the disabler,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where most people ask us about technologies first, which we appreciate.”

Web 2.0 technologies sign of cultural gap?

Some think CIOs need to do more with this technology than implement it, however. Instead, CIOs need to think about the generational culture in which these tools flourish.

It’s become a common topic of discussion in IT circles, including the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo conference in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month. Gartner analyst Tom Bittman noted how the culture, not the technology, holds CIOs back. (See “Gartner: Age does matter.”)

Take wikis, for example. “There are a whole set of cultural norms that go beyond the technology of wikis, such as an openness to editing and changing other peoples’ work,” said Madeline Weiss, advanced practices council program director for the Society for Information Management in Chicago. “While it’s somewhat of a generational thing, it’s also an organizational culture thing.”

Baker Arrington said she does think intensity of technology usage varies by generation, as some of the younger generation grew up using a keyboard or mouse, so it’s more natural to them. But all in all, it’s a matter of individual preference for many, she said. Besides, as Young points out, there are plenty of boomer CIOs who are hip-deep in the latest technology.

“Life is a bell curve, and the 80-20 rule is in effect,” he said. “I’m sure there are some boomers with MySpace accounts, just as there are some Gen-Y people that don’t have them.”

The bottom line: Most companies are not putting Web 2.0 technology experience on their list of ‘must haves’ for hiring CIOs.

“I haven’t seen this, either in CIO job searches or with CIOs who are looking for successors,” Heller said. “Good IT leaders don’t have to be on top of a specific technology. They need to be leaders, they need to be adaptable and know how to respond in times of rapid change. They can hire people to have the right technical skills.”

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