A new survey by consultant McKinsey and Company of nearly 1,700 executives from around the world found that nearly 70 percent of respondents believe that their companies have gained measureable benefits from Web 2.0 and social networking tools. Successful companies also are not only tightly integrating Web 2.0 technologies with the workflows of their employees but are also creating a "networked company," linking themselves with customers and suppliers through the use of Web 2.0 tools, the study found. With the current recession, respondents overwhelmingly said they will continue to invest in Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 and social networking technologies also led to several internal benefits for companies. For example, 68 percent of respondents said the tools increased the speed and ability for employees to access knowledge, while 43 percent said the tools increased the speed of access to internal experts. Forty percent said the tools helped decrease travel costs, and 35 percent said that use of the tools increased employee satisfaction.
As I highlighted last week, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry is taking some lessons from Silicon Valley companies on how to attract, hire and retain a top-notch workforce in the federal government, and the use of Web 2.0 appears to be playing a large role in those meetings. As the government faces a loss of institutional knowledge due to a possible retirement wave over the next few years, it's good to hear that Web 2.0 technologies are proving valuable for companies in storing, sharing and retaining knowledge and increasing employee satisfaction. It's also good news that the government is recognizing these values and is seeking to invest in such technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal workforce.