Advocates overcoming IT resistance to Web 2.0

The battle between Web 2.0 and IT explained. Predictions are made about how it will be resolved in the future and the challenges advocates face.

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Web 2.0 tools are slowly making their way to corporate users, often under the wings of champions who must work to overcome IT resistance to blogs, wikis, online communities and the like.

For example, Adam Carson said that Morgan Stanley's IT organisation at times presented obstacles to his efforts to introduce such technologies to workers at the New York-based financial services firm.

Carson, an associate at Morgan Stanley, initiated the Web 2.0 effort there late last year by creating a network of 1,000 employees at Linked.com professional networking site, Linked.com.

At the start of the effort, he said, "most of our IT department did not get it. This was all new to them. They had just been stuck in the world of enterprise IT."

However, he and a grass-roots team moved quickly to convince key members of Morgan Stanley's 10,000-person IT operation of the merits of Web 2.0 tools.

Those discussions have since prompted the firm's IT managers to invest in Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) technologies, a key requirement for building and supporting Web 2.0 tools.

Carson also noted that he has started working with IT managers to ensure that Web 2.0 applications meet federal regulations governing IT security at financial services businesses.

Today, Carson said, about 80 Web 2.0 projects are under way at Morgan Stanley.

The projects include the development of social communities to improve communication with clients and the creation of a system that can automatically turn email groups into online forums. IT developers are also experimenting with Real Simple Syndication (RSS) and wiki applications.

Corporate use of Web 2.0 "is not an 'if' anymore; it is a 'when' and 'how' these things will come to the enterprise," Carson said. "If you can tap into the power of your company better than your competitors that is a competitive advantage."

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