When Buzzwords Collide, Study Firms and Consultants Thrive

Study: Companies apply ROI to Web 2.0, despite softer benefits:

Companies are aiming to apply traditional ROI and business benefit measures to Web 2.0 tools despite the difficulties in measuring the “softer” returns, such as the improved productivity and communication that wikis, blogs and RSS bring to a company, a new survey has found.

There are tangible business benefits, such as a drop in support center calls because of rich Internet applications or a database system replaced by a corporate wiki, according to the Forrester Research Inc. study released this week, but they remain elusive for most IT decision-makers. Instead, most companies point to softer benefits, such as business efficiency and competitive advantage as the true value from Web 2.0 technology, according to the report.

That is, it’s hard to use one buzzword metric to justify a buzzword technology/architecture/whatever-the-hell-Web-2.0-is. However, if you’re going to define the terms and the very principles of accounting, no wonder you’re going to come up with the solution you want (which is: Web 2.0 is worth spending money on, particularly if you’re going to spend it on us/the people who commissioned the study).

Hey, I won’t knock it; I am in a profession whose benefits are hidden but whose lack is obvious. But I have a hard time selling on benefit/analysis kinds of things MBAs like. I have to try to sell it on do it right, and the customers will come.