Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, was in London earlier this week speaking about the benefits of Web 2.0 for businesses. He’d highlighted what he was going to say in an interview last month with Computing magazine.

However, in spite of his enthusiastic support for Web 2.0 and online collaboration, most of the businesses who will have heard him or read about Web 2.0 are not convinced. According to research conducted by the IT services company, Parity, and published in their White Paper on Web 2.0, less than one in three businesses use any form of Web 2.0 technology. Almost a half said that they could see no benefit in Web 2.0 at all.

So, there’s no benefit in being able to connect and converse with your customers? No benefit in allowing staff to collaborate more easily and effectively? No benefit in sales staff, for instance, sharing best practice?

Interestingly, the Parity research revealed that a significant slice of IT managers did not even understand what Web 2.0 was about. There is growing evidence that the modern way of doing business online is leaving traditional businesses behind. Is it any wonder when boardrooms are still full of people who would rather use a pen than an email? Or when IT specialists don’t even understand the technology they are supposed to be responsible for? I’m predicting wholesale change in the FTSE100 in the coming years. We are going to see traditional big businesses disappear, being replaced by those “young upstarts” who use all that “Internet thingy”.

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