Why Bother with Web 2.0?

As discussed in my post, Overcoming Hurdles to Web 2.0, the rate at which law firms have adopted web 2.0 has not been impressive. There seems to be a great deal of organizational resistance to giving up the “command and control” approach to knowledge management and moving to a more dynamic, grassroots approach. And, because of the slow rate of adoption among law firms, law firm knowledge managers can’t even point to the Web 2.0 successes of many other law firms in order to goad their own firm into implementing social media tools. In this environment, it’s easy to ask “why bother with web 2.0”?

If your firm is stuck in the KM 1.0 rut, take a look at the impressive results of a shift from KM 1.0 to KM 2.0 at Cap Gemini. In his post, From CoLLection to CoNNection, Jon Husband reports on a presentation by Yves Noble at KMWorld & Intranets 2008 in which he recounts the fantastic success of Cap Gemini’s adoption of web 2.0.

The post contains Jon’s live-blogging notes, so it is in sound bites rather than paragraphs. Nonetheless, it contains some real gems. Here, for example, are the notes on Cap Gemini’s situation under the KM 1.0/”Collection” model:

Problems with old KM Solution ?

Plenty of good content, well-organized, well-structured – but people did not use it

20% year-over-year decline in use

Average age [of] document in the system 3.5 years

7 years to refresh knowledge content (wow, papyrus grows faster than that)

Complex and confusing for non-experts

Many disconnects between tools, processes and the organisation

Costly infrastructure

And here’s what happened when they switched to using web 2.0 tools and a “Connection” model:

Speed and scope of adoption (official deployment has not yet started)

27,00 registered users

900 communities

500 forums

500 wikis

250 blogs

.. and have not spent even $1.00 in “communications” thus far

Remember these are the results before official deployment! It’s enough to make most folks in law firm knowledge management bright green with envy.

Take a closer look at this presentation. It covers everything from the state of their old system, through the long process of moving minds and implementing new tools, to their stunning results. The Cap Gemini experience is a great answer to the question “why bother with Web 2.0.”

Yves Noble provides a valuable road map. Follow it!

One thought on “Why Bother with Web 2.0?

  1. Indeed.I was very impressed with Capgemini’s common-sense approach (and results to date) in reviving (or renewing) its engagement with KM.

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