CIOs learn tips for making Web 2.0 work

CIOs across Ontario shared their opinions on Web 2.0 and Generation Y last week at the IBM Innovation Centre in Toronto.

The CIO Association of Canada Ontario Chapter meeting included a keynote lecture by Info-Tech Research Group VP Rob Dreyer and panel discussion between CIOs and Gen Y students from Ryerson University.

Dreyer’s interactive speech, which included questions and commentary from the CIO panel, focused on Web 2.0 business value.

“You can’t really anticipate how it’s going to be used,” said Dreyer. “You may put it out there and find that the value will come from unintended sources.”

The CIOs role, according to Dreyer, is to figure out how much support Web 2.0 applications need in order to make them succeed.

Web 2.0 requires interactive participation, reminded Dreyer, so enterprises must engage their people to participate in these networks.

Success factors raised in the lecture include incorporating Web 2.0 into an employee’s daily routine rather than an add-on activity and encouraging people to use IDs that are different from their own personal networking sites.

CIOs debated whether employee participation is linked to expectations of a reward, why corporate blogs fail to attract employee support and fears behind putting yourself “out there.”

Discussion also focused on policing, how to monitor social networks successfully and setting polices and rules of engagement.

While social networking is a bottom-up phenomenon, said Dreyer, take a top-down approach if you want to make it successful within your organization.

And Web 2.0 isn’t just for younger generations, he pointed out. The 30- and 40-something segments are also actively using these technologies.

“Social networking is causing people to become more isolated from each other in terms of reducing the amount of human interaction,” said Dreyer. “I only mention this because in my view, as soon as the technology reaches the point where people are talking about how it’s detrimental to us, there must be a clue there to how it might be useful to us in terms of business value.”

Ron Babin, associate director at the Ted Rogers School of IT Management at Ryerson University, led the panel discussion with students.

Toronto is the third largest ICT centre in North America and our digital economy is our future, said Babin. It’s important to talk about Gen Y because they will carry us into that digital economy.

Babin emphasized the differences between the behaviours and expectations of Gen Y employees versus previous generations. “They are different,” he said.

For key tips on making Web 2.0 work, watch highlights from the event…

CIOs, Web 2.0 and Gen Y in the Enterprise

(Video runs approximately 10 minutes.)

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