LIKE IT OR NOT, organizations can’t avoid the sticky grasp of Web 2.0 – at least not if they want to remain successful.

Organizations must embrace Web 2.0 technologies to remain competitive, but also be aware of potential threats and compliance issues, according to Alan Calder, chief executive of risk management consultants IT Governance, which recently completed a report on the benefits and risks associated with Web 2.0.

“Young workers feel that Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook, YouTube, blogging and Flickr are key to how they do their job,” Calder said. This means CIOs must convince the organization not to enact total bans on these technologies, but to embrace them.

“Sooner or later you will want to recruit some young people. If you shut off Web 2.0 technologies you are saying to young people: we don’t want you,” he said, adding that senior management must learn that the Internet is “embedded into the way of life” of younger generations.

But opening the floodgates to these technologies is not necessarily the answer. CIOs must consider how social networking could put the organization at risk of litigation, or in breach of privacy or data-protection laws, he cautioned.