It's interesting. Many techies have serious problems with the term Web 2.0. Yet users are seeing the exact same reaction to these technologies as they did when the Web hit commercial use in the late 1990s.
So, perhaps Web 2.0 is aptly named.
Whatever. I'm not going there.
For this blog, the more pressing question is: Can Web 2.0 technologies play a meaningful role in business and government? Or are they just so much MySpace eye candy: Full of fat with no real value.
It seems the IT experts can't agree.
Gartner seems to think it's a ridiculous conversation. The point is not whether companies should adopt Web 2.0, but that employees already are adopting Web 2.0. Let's face it: Soon you'll be working with, and possibly for, a generation that practically teethed on MySpace. As Gartner VP Tom Austin pointedly asked his audience, "How many here would block the CEO from using a GMail account?"
For IT, integration has always meant bringing together the back end with the front end, connecting two systems from different companies, or some variation of connecting official systems with other official systems. The exception, of course, has been the Internet and the occasional remote worker.
The Internet has always played by its own rules, rules that defy the control and order IT likes so well. But corporate IT has adapted as best it can, within limits.
Web 2.0 takes those limits and pushes them still further, as Matthew Gotzbach, product manager for Google@work, explains in the same article.
Perhaps IT is resisting because, in some ways, traditional IT plays little to no role when users move their work to Web 2.0 solutions. Maybe it's just a matter of security concerns. Or perhaps IT's just too busy with other integration projects to worry about Web 2.0, especially since it's not clear how, or even if, businesses should use these tools.
Whatever the reason, I'm siding with Gartner on this one. If you can't beat them, you better join them, before you're suddenly the old techie who can't let go of the old technologies.