MIT Research Scientist: Web 2.0’s ROI Is Organizational Progress

Organizations that use traditional ways to measure ROI (return on investment) of Web 2.0 tools aren’t satisfied with the results, says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. However, McAffee says in a video interview with the McKinsey & Company Quarterly e-mail newsletter that organizations are able to measure progress made with blogs, wikis and other tools. McAffee’s new book, “Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for your Organization’s Toughest Challenges,” will be published by Harvard Business Press in December.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • The quality of work increases when people are able to utilize their strengths as they collaborate by using blogs and wikis.
  • There are two ways organizations can implement Web 2.0. One is a bottom-up approach where organizations get out of the way. The other approach is more of a top-down signal that the new technology is in line with what the organization is trying to accomplish.
  • Blogs from the Chief Executive Officer can’t be press releases and comments must be allowed.
  • Research shows that organizations using Web 2.0 do not put themselves at higher risk for technology problems than other organizations.
  • People who are used to being gatekeepers of information should be frightened because they won’t be able to control information from the top or from outside your organization.
  • Web 2.0 can increase interactions and teamwork, but there is no substitute for face time.
  • Web 2.0 is helping organizations produce more and better results.

This information is valuable for nonprofit communications professionals as they continue to develop or execute Web 2.0 and social media strategies. McAffee’s research shows that organizations that adopt and embrace social media and new technology will help their organizations in a holistic way, which eventually shows up in the bottom line.


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