IT professionals have become more interested in Web 2.0 and could take a greater role in the promotion of such technologies, contrary to previous evidence.
That's according to a new Forrester report that found that 63 percent of IT professionals expected to see Web 2.0 technologies have a moderate or substantial impact on the business. Techies are beginning to use Web 2.0 themselves: about 35 percent use blogs and 59 percent are familiar with them. Other technologies revealed similar trends: social networking at 38 usage and 46 percent familiarity, respectively; wikis 43 and 32 percent; podcasts 34 and 53 percent; RSS 34 and 31 percent.
However, the Forrester report is in stark contrast with a recent one from Gartner, which claimed that IT was an inhibitor to the take-up of newer technologies. Forrester claimed that this view was outdated. According to Oliver Young, the Forrester analyst who wrote the report, that's because Web 2.0 technologies suffered a reputation problem with IT. "They'd look at social networking and think MySpace and Facebook," he says. "They look at wikis and think Wikipedia. They had the perception that these are for kids and not for business."
IT pros aren't looking at the proliferation of technologies with an uncritical eye, however. IT departments want to have a role in delivering them securely to enterprise users, who have been going around IT and accessing consumer applications on the Web.
In the survey, 79 percent of respondents were somewhat concerned or very concerned about the risks of employees bringing unsanctioned technology into the enterprise. "It's a matter of trying to take a leadership position by giving people the right [Web 2.0] tools while not putting the corporation at risk," Young said.
And IT is putting its money where its mouth is. According to the report, around 80 percent of all Web 2.0 initiatives are led by IT.