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Leading Edge Forum Journal: June 2006 - Web 2.0

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The IT industry is clearly shifting from a world that revolved primarily around hardware and software products to one defined by an ever-greater range of business and consumer services. By providing a powerful and ubiquitous, but low-cost, network infrastructure, the Internet has become an unprecedented tool for services innovation and transformation. These capabilities are now coalescing into a new phase of Web expansion, popularly referred to as Web 2.0.

In this issue, we look at this topic from a number of different angles. My own piece begins with a broad analysis of which industries are most likely to be disrupted by Web 2.0 and which are more likely to be sustained. This is followed by a major paper from Professor Venkatraman, which looks at Google’s underlying business model and strategy and identifies important ways in which companies can both leverage Google’s position and learn from its success and practices.

We then look at the underlying technology changes through three closely linked discussions of the increasingly layered services market. First, Doug Neal explains the current Web 2.0 phenomenon, showing why the Internet has entered a new phase of pervasiveness and technological sophistication. Howard Smith then argues why, despite many remaining challenges, the ‘software as a service’ approach will succeed where its ASP predecessors did not. Dr. Richard Sykes then shows how this layering of the services industry is driving the search for the human mediation required for sustainable competitive advantage.

The final two papers assess the management implications of these changes. Kirt Mead demonstrates the need for expanded and more sophisticated governance models for assessing the risks and rewards of new technological approaches. He is followed by Olof Pripp, who suggests that as IT organizations become more buyers of services than builders, the skills of the CIO must expand far beyond the technology and project management roots that have been so dominant in the past.

<b>David Moschella</b>
Editor and Global Research Director
dmoschella@csc.com

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AUTHORS

Douglas Neal
Research Fellow
Doug Neal, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum. Doug's focus is on the intersection of strategy, business operations and technology.     Doug is the author of multiple reports including A Guide to Co-creating Value with Your Customers, authored with Jim Ginsburgh, Lewis Richards and Professor Venkat Ramaswamy from the University of Michigan, Next Generation Consumerization – Co-creating Value with your Customers, The Consumerization Workbook and Preparing for a Post-PC World.   He co-authored the book The Networked Supply Chain:  Applying Breakthrough BPM Technology to Meet Relentless Customer Demands.  Doug’s point of view on consumer privacy was published in Wilson Quarterly, the journal of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Doug has led a number of study tours over recent years on subjects including Dealing with Disruption, The Future of Do-It-Yourself Technology, Mobility, Cloud Computing, Web 2.0 and Green IT. Doug has developed state-of-the-art management and other end-user systems for clients in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and high-technology companies.  Prior to joining the Leading Edge Forum, Doug worked at two international management consulting firms and founded an organization specializing in systems for executive management. Doug received a BA from Haverford College, conducted special studies at the Ruhr University, and has an ABD from the University of Michigan.
David Moschella
Research Fellow
David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  David was previously Global Research Director of the programme. David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  He is the author of multiple research reports, including Disrupting the Professions through Machine Learning and Digital Trust, 2016 Study Tour Report: Applying Machine Intelligence, There is Now a Formula for Machine Intelligence Innovation,  Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption. An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world. David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.    

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