Web 2.0 refers to the second generation of the World Wide Web that lays emphasis on the capability of people to exchange and collaborate information online. Web 2.0 marks the transition from static HTML to dynamic HTML which is more organized. It is based on providing web apps to users. Web 2.0 opens up the communications for web based users. We can see blogs, wikis and web services as a part of web 2.0.
Web 2.0 is adapted by organizations at a faster or slower rate. This rate is dependent on their regulatory environment and tolerance for risk. This novel technology offers a number of features including the following:
- Supports collaboration across time and space.
- Easily accessible
- Easy to use
- Low-cost (sometimes even free)
- Does not require much IT support
- Very little downtime
- Less risk
- A big challenge for many organizations is that they find it very tough to maintain the complex IT infrastructure. Even if an organization is small sized, it has to provide email and other IT tools to its employees. Even shifting to a different software version becomes quite a task for them. Web 2.0 offers tools that are much simpler. They do not require any maintenance from the perspective of the company.
- Another benefit that Web 2.0 offers is the minimization of downtime. Web 2.0 tools don’t have any downtime.
- The most important benefit of web 2.0 tools is that it includes low cost. Simplicity in maintaining it and the less downtime lead to lower costs. The cost involved in implementing a web 2.0 based e-mail capability is remarkably lower and it requires zero technical expertise.
- Web 2.0 facilitates collaboration in an excellent way. Web 2.0 tools have inherent collaboration capabilities and so they include document sharing tools such as Scribd and Google Docs along with Wiki. Many of the Web 2.0 tools provide networking and communication capabilities. This enables the documentation of when the shared document was changed or edited. This is highly important for an organization that is geographically dispersed.
However there are certain things that organizations should be aware of while using Web 2.0 tools. These tools, wikis, social networking, blogs, have default public access, hence users should not discuss their internal issues and challenges in public.
Users should be wary that they do not use the name of the organization while using Web 2.0 as others may recognize them and think that they are publishing on the behalf of the management.
There are also enterprise focused versions of all major types of Web 2.0 applications such as wikis, blogs, web conferencing and document sharing and also social networking. Organizations implement many of the tools behind the organization’s firewall and integrate it into the identity infrastructure. In this case, open protocols and data structures (mostly those based on XML) are considered. This will ensure that organizations have fewer problems in exporting from one solution to another.