The Use of Web 2.0 in Big Companies

Convincing big companies to use Web 2.0 is a big challenge due to the fact that major organizations are being pressured by social networking technologies since the popularity of this technology is rapidly growing.

As a result, enterprise software and enterprise content management company Open Text are called in to help convince, organize, manage, and gain the worth of their companies content.

Ross O, managing editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, got together with executive vice president of Open Text’s, Bill Forquer, to discuss how Web 2.0 technologies can help transform and modernize the way big/main companies and the government deal with communication and interactions in companies.

Can you explain what Open Text’s plan is for enterprise content management (ECM) and how does Open Text rate the importance of ECM in today’s business enterprise IT atmosphere? Why is this issue important and what are the key concerns that major companies need to conquer?

The way Open Text measures the rate of importance of ECM is by measuring the understanding of the maximum effect of the people, processes, and satisfaction in a company. We mange the companies satisfaction during the whole lifecycle, regardless of the starting point and set-up, this is possible because we understand how ECM works in and throughout the departments, what systems it works with, and what business procedures it is link with.

ECM importance is rapidly growing in today’s IT surroundings. However, if you compare it to enterprise resource planning (ERP) ECM in investment terms is still ratter small. Regardless of this, companies are starting to notice the great possibilities that ECM holds. Currently, there is a fast growth rate in the information that we are receiving from and around companies, 90% of it containing unstructured information.

When companies do not have content management systems and when they are haphazardly organized they waist both money and time because they have to spend time looking for information written in paper that is often lost in endless paper mountains and most of the time they also have to redo their work. In order for companies to manage their huge number of content into something that they can use they need to manage and control it, and this is where ECM comes into play because ECM applications allow companies to do this.

Companies can also use ECM to conquer the strict requirements of corporate governess, privacy, and to help maintain business information safe. Another thing that makes the success of ECM possible is the way ECM makes content governess and change management easy and high-quality.

In 2009 MIS Asia magazine annual IT Nation: Tech Trends and Enterprise Priorities researched declared that the number one concern in IT investments was its security, governess, risk and compliance. What does Open Text have to say about the current governess, risk and compliance in Asia Pacific? What are some of the impacts Open Text believes will happen on the future of IT compliance due to the current economic downfall?

Up-to-the-minute technology is always changing the way that companies work with content and Open Text is recently seeing an information outburst with word information doubling every two months. With this outburst it is necessary to put governance, risk, and compliance in a group that goes beyond the “must have” list so you can see higher funds in these areas in the Asia Pacific. For example, as Web 2.0 grows companies need to have first-class governess content installed before installing tools of Web 2.0.

The recent economic downfall has caused the government to interfere more and with that interference comes more acquiescence requirements of different forms that, most often than not, will entail higher information in governess.

Due to the economic downfall many companies are making cutbacks which will leave them with a need for hire awareness in security risk due to their business efficiency. The pressure of IT organizations will increase due to the combination of higher pressure in regulations and the demand for business effectiveness. The appliance of ECM in companies can fulfill all these demands.

Open Text assures companies that it can help organize, manage, and understand the real value of their companies content. What data to you have to back this statement up and what proof can you provide that shows how well businesses in the Asia Pacific region are doing and how they are getting the maximum value out of Open Text services? What numbers show how well companies are doing in this region with regards to this issue? What else can be improved and how will this affect businesses relying on Open Text services?

In businesses across Asia Pacific we are seeing the management of records become more and more important as compliance and risk management increase. In order to control the process of important record management unimportant and out-of-date information needs to be deleted. As a result, being capable of managing important business information in the entire business will bring your organization greater value.

Last year on May 20 in the MarketScope for Records Management, Gartner’s review by author Kenneth Chin, stated that during a five year study there was a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% between 2008 and 2013. In the review, Gartner also stated that the 2006 management market increased 30%, thus living the management market in 2007 with forty million US dollars as a result.

In October of last year a survey conducted by Open Text at the Records Managers Association of Australia conducted with 104 managers confirmed what Gartner states. The survey conducted by Open Text found that 75% of companies are planning to increase their budget on record management during the year and 40% believe that record management is going to increase, thus taking a bigger percent in there IT budget investment in 2009. The survey stated that the main reason for this is due to the ongoing mandatory compliance, business accountability, and employee effectiveness.

Open Text records on ECM are continuing to see investments in this product, both in private and non-private divisions of Asia Pacific. For example, in the Australian sate of New South Wales, Open text has recently signed a contract to supply electronic documents and records management software in government departments and business all over the state.

However, things can improve since we still see businesses that are not using electronic tools to keep and manage their records. In a survey conducted by Open Text we found out that one third of business believe that providing their employees with such tools is important but twenty percent believe this is only a good idea if they can access their records on a mobile device.

How are Asia-Pacific companies coping with the task of capturing and preserving their companies’ memory? What risks are involved if they fail to do this?

There is a great change happening in the workforce as employees from the “baby boom” generation are beginning to retire. As a result, all companies in the Asia Pacific are left with the difficult job of preserving their intangible companies’ memory. This is where Open Text’s ECM comes into play because ECM tools are meant to capture, preserve, and re-use the intellectual resources/data created by the soon to be retired employees. By taking a closer look at the results of companies across Asia Pacific that use ECM tools we can see an increase in the companies that see solutions and that are getting the value out of this specific task.

If companies to not manage to capture and preserve their companies corporate memory they lose important data and knowledge, which makes the biggest risk here the competitiveness of staying ahead of your company.

What are the most common mistakes that companies are making regarding ECM and what are some of the consequences that these mistakes can have on the company?

Most often than not, mistakes are not technology-relate. Mistakes tend to occur because not enough attention is giving to the project, thus, little attention is paid to change management and end-user changes.

The workers in a company are the end-users of ECM so it is very important that change occurs smoothly and successfully when changing software so they can see the simplicity of it. In perfect situation workers switching to ECM should first be giving an announcement prior to the change so they can prepare themselves for the new changes and the new ECM program should be installed inside the already familiar desktop application so that the change can be as easy as possible and less mistakes can occur. If little consideration and communication is implemented in the changing process the program will not be use to its full potential and the workers will soon become disappointed and they will stop using the program.

In businesses in the Asia Pacific, as well as other places, Web 2.0 seems to be something of a frontier in technology. What study can you show to reveal the take-up of Web 2.0 in Asia Pacific?

In Asia Pacific businesses and government that adapted to Web 2.0 improvements have been seen, especially when it comes down to the adaptation of Web 2.0 in customers. Just like costumers, some businesses are fearful of using Web 2.0, however, there are customers and businesses that use it early and adapt, innovate, and learn to use it. As these early users begging to demonstrate and prove that Web 2.0 can be use in businesses more and more people and business will start using it and over the years we will be able to see the dramatic increase in budget that will be spend on these programs in the area.

Can you give us some good examples of businesses around the world that are doing well with their change to Web 2.0? What are some of the most important benefits that business will see when they change to Web 2.0 and why are businesses usually a bit tentative to change to Web 2.0?

One of the world’s biggest and most aggressive user of Web 2.0 and one of its leaders is Motorola. At the moment they have 50,000 users, 4,400 active blogs, 4,100 wiki pages, and 2,600 people that are currently tagging.

Ones a business switches to Web 2.0 its organizations efficiency and collaboration will increase. This is due to the fact that the program breaks down barriers in communication and hierarchical in a business, thus giving the organization the capacity to share information which increases collaboration. Better collaboration can also affect the results in the workers satisfaction in their work which creates a better networking and social connections.

Fear of change usually comes from the security and privacy problems. Businesses are afraid of losing control of the companies’ information when changing to open software platforms, which occurs when you switch to Web 2.0. A similar effect was seen in companies when e-mails where first used, companies where afraid of losing information which lead to companies thinking that important and sensitive information could be easily leaked out or lost.

How exactly can Web 2.0 “revolutionize communication and interactions in companies and in the government”? What types of problems can the government expect when adapting Web 2.0 to their system due to the fact that the government may be overwhelmed with community responses?

The first thing companies need to do is obtain the correct balance with Web 2.0 in their business, culture, and the second step will be to go forward on both fronts. Once this is done the possibilities are endless. Web 2.0 can bring down silos and hierarchical walls which in turn well bring more social communication and collaboration both inside and outside work. For example, in governments, forums, poll functions, blogs, and wikis all the decision making brings the workers of the companies’ closer, which in turns allows better communication between the citizens and politicians.

The risk of being overwhelmed with community responses when changing to Web 2.0 is the same risk they took when the government decided to enter the world of websites and e-mails. When this happened they feared that employees will not be able to respond to e-mails, thus keeping information from being updated. However, in time the government, along with its workers, adapted to this new change and they where able to change and advance with the new technology.

Just like many different changes in technology Web 2.0 is just another change. Companies and workers will, sooner or later, need to experiment to see success in their surroundings and to have an advantage that will let them control the amount of traffic directed to their website as they become accustomed to the change. It is during this process that the change and trust in Web 2.0 plays an important part.

Due to the recent downfall in the economic what are some of the specific customer and partner concerns? In what ways have the relationship between the vendor and customer change?

Normally customers will be asking none stop for their return in investment, as a result, the business case of the vendor has to be concrete. Customers will also be trying to make due with their current vendors instead of starting a new project that will require hiring new vendors.

Due to the economic downfall costumers are demanding improve data governance, better efficiency, and better returns of investments for ECM purchases. As a result, ECM specializes and knows the importance of cost management since this can improve the way companies’ process things such as account payments or claim processing, thus appealing to both customers and possible partners/vendors.

Explain how ECM and Web 2.0 can increase business competitiveness? Can you demonstrate this with any good examples?

ECM and Web 2.0 can have an effect in the strategic objective of a business. For example, a companies cutting costs, staying compliant, new growing income channels, customer loyalty, etc… can all be affected by ECM and Web 2.0. A business that changes to Web 2.0 and runs it correctly can see a change in collaboration, increase their productivity, provide new ways to communicate, and new ways to share information. Web 2.0 and ECM also helps companies create deeper and new relationships whit their customers and partners.

For example, engineering companies are becoming closer with teams that are working in projects in remote locations. As a result, the workload of each team has a lot to do with the collaboration of the project that is located all around the world and in different time zones. As you can see, in such cases collaboration and information sharing is a must in the Web 2.0 tool. The software of Open Text, ECM, can put together and manage all the information in the project so members of the project can easily find and retrieve the data of the project.

Is there something else that you will like to add that would be important to our discussion of ECM, Web 2.0 and Open Text?

Having good record management and good content government is absolutely necessary in companies before using tools in Web 2.0. Another important thing is that company’s need their ECM strategies to be in a mature sate.

In business and companies Web 2.0 and ECM need to start slow and slowly move their way into the business/companies enterprise. In the beginning ECM solutions can not be abruptly implemented into the enterprise because this will only cause chaos in creating the information silos.

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