Research Library

Learning from Web 2.0 – report

In just about every business, organizational activities and practices continually evolve, driven by competition between the various actors (such as customers, companies and industries).  Most of these changes are small and incremental, but occasionally things must change dramatically in response to new technologies, new players or the disruption of existing business models.  Understanding how your key activities and practices are evolving is essential for sound organizational planning.

Last year, our research in this domain focused on describing the overall lifecycle of business activities, as yesterday’s new ideas become today’s best practices and tomorrow’s commodity systems.  Over the last six months, we have sought to apply these concepts directly to the management of Enterprise IT.  Our hypothesis was that today’s Web 2.0 leaders – Google, Amazon, et al – would be the best place to look for important new IT management activities and practices.  While these companies are, understandably, often secretive about their operational innovations, this report highlights how these firms manage IT and the implications for more traditional enterprises


Executive Summary

PDF (3.5 MB)

Final Report

PDF (5.5 MB)



Simon Wardley
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.  From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies.  He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in recent Computer Weekly polls.