The Bottom Line

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-07-17 Print this article Print

So, clearly the community manager is here to stay, but it looks like these positions are increasingly becoming tech-savvy. A July 10 report from Forrester claims IT is taking those reins from the CMO.

Forrester analyst G. Oliver Young said marketing departments and corporate communications staffs led early enterprise Web 2.0 deployments, with IT departments along for the ride, if at all:

That dynamic is changing rapidly; our recent Web 2.0 survey shows IT departments taking a more active role in the acquisition and deployment of Web 2.0 technologies. Budgetary controls, the need for integration and technical skills, and the growing importance of Web 2.0 tools are all putting IT departments in the driver's seat. Technology product managers and marketers will need to not only deal with these departments but also appeal to them outright. Those that can do so most effectively stand to close more deals, shorten the sales cycle and grow deployments more easily.

Ahhhh, now we can sleep better at night. No longer will we have to worry about people with no technical background walking us through product deployments or bug fixes.

Young, who surveyed 262 IT professionals, goes on to report that IT shops are increasingly taking a leadership role in the adoption of Web 2.0 as they get more comfortable with the tools and deem them up to enterprise standards.

Importantly, these same IT people have ended the "cat-and-mouse game of locking out consumer-grade tools brought in by individual employees in favor of formal enterprise-class alternatives," Young said.

This is a sign that Facebook in the office, for better or worse, may be here to stay, unless companies have specific rules against the social network and other mainstream communities of its ilk.

The bottom line is: Why wouldn't IT organizations run Web 2. tools? Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and the like are user-friendly for nontechies, but they are still Web-based tools open to exploits like anything else on the Web.

I say it's better to vet these tools through IT departments so they know exactly what they are dealing with in case a malicious attack is executed. Where technology is concerned, let IT be the gatekeeper and front line of defense.


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