McKinsey released some research that sheds light on the concept of the networked enterprise. But, does this research corroborate the reports we have been covering on the business impact of collaboration?

McKinsey released some interesting research recently. They surveyed over 3,200 executives to find out how Web 2.0 technologies were being used within the enterprise. Sixty-six percent of the respondents stated that they do use Web 2.0 technologies within their organizations. What's more interesting is that a good portion of those surveyed also said they are seeing a measurable business benefit.

A report I wrote about last month showed that adoption numbers around these "Enterprise 2.0" initiatives are still fairly low, so when I read the findings from the McKinsey report I was a bit surprised. However, the fact that so many are reporting measurable benefits was not surprising at all as this corroborates the findings from a another previous report conducted by Frost & Sullivan which showed that collaboration impacts business performance

The Business Benefits

The business benefits that the respondents saw were broken down into three categories: internal purposes, customer-related purposes and working with external partners/suppliers. You can see the breakdown in the image below.


One thing to notice about this graphic is that "increasing revenue" is by far at the bottom of the list. This is interesting because to me it signifies that companies may be moving beyond just revenue as both a business goal and a measure of success.

Remember the phrase that McKinsey used was "measurable business benefits," yet these business benefits are coming across as:

  • Increasing speed of access to knowledge
  • Reducing communication costs
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Reducing support costs
  • Reducing travel costs
  • Increasing speed of access to internal experts
  • And many others

Types of Networked Organizations

Now, perhaps these organizations are just unable to tie some of these measurable benefits directly to "increasing revenue," but I think the fact remains that organizations are still making investments in collaborative technologies even though many are not seeing an increase in revenue.

McKinsey also took a similar approach to Frost & Sullivan by breaking down results based on the type of networked organization and they also found that the more networked an organization is, the greater the benefits.

image2.jpg Missing Pieces

In the last report I reviewed I missed something crucial which thankfully Hyoun Park from Aberdeen noticed (and I will discuss his report on collaboration in the future here as well). Here is a snippet of the comment Hyoun left me: