Unplugging from the Web & meeting with customers
JohnFeller 110000RUW6 Tags:  banking secondlife web2.0 ibm wiki rss mobiledevices communitybuilding blog myspace youtube socialnetworking google iphone qedwiki 2,647 Visits
I spent the past week in Chicago discussing Community Building andMash-Ups with a half-dozen of IBM's Financial Services customers. Just as it is good to get-away from the familiar to recharge one'soutlook, this week travels were enlightening for me to get away fromthe daily stream of technology scholarship and have a look at what ourfield teams and customers read and discuss everyday. ITdiscussions may presently be more about business and less abouttechnology, but they are not about Web 2.0. Customers are awareof iPods and YouTube and MySpace, but not Mash-Ups and Ajax and Wikisand iPhones.
They ask: What is Web 2.0?, What are my company's options deploying these technologies? How do I get started?
We all pay attention when we can personnally relate to Web 2.0 (oranything else for that matter). Mash-up or Situational Apps orQED Wikis seem, at first glance, to be little more than the latestgizmo. Ditto for Community Building experiments or CEOblogs.
Mash-Ups interest customers, both IT & LoBs, as theyenvision accessing back-end data without the need for an ITproject. IT execs agree that 60% of their app-developmentprojects won't be needed for as long as the time it took to buildthem. And business execs agree that they can make plenty ofuseful decisions by mashing-up two fields of data to create a thirdfield of information. The Blog and Wiki discussions gain tractionwhen we discussed blogs as a lower cost, more personalized one-to-manymodel of communication; wikis are intriguing as a many-to-many model ofcollaboration. Both offer lower-costs for implementationand support when compared to web sites and email streams and otherelements of MarCom.
At this stage of awareness (low) and customer adoption (lower), Iam convinced that Web 2.0 is a useful topic for connecting IBM's visionfor Innovation, On-Demand (open standards & systems), and even ourSoftware Group's recent acquistions, to technology trends in themarketplace that can enable the business objectives of ourcustomers. We must be cautious in the speed of our approach ascustomers are not ready to be Second Life-like or even ready topurchase a package of Web 2.0 from one of our IBM brands.
First steps are to show customers how the tools and techniques ofpopular culture (RSS & Tagging, mobile phones, Social Networking)might relate to their businesses; then we must show them how to evolvetheir business processes to take advantage of these emergingcapabilities. Customers are interested in this approach as theysense by watching Google that Web 2.0 can level the playing field.