Saturday, May 31, 2008

Canada Underway with Web 2.0 Innovations.

Canada awakens as many new developments are underway in improving Web 2.0 Innovations.

Recently, government organizations are seeing the value of Web 2.0 solutions to provide social networking capabilities for their employees. A major Ontario government project is underway that will eventually support over 250,000 people and will cover 58 government departments. Key technology for this initiative is being provided by Waterloo, Ont.-based Open Text.

Wikis, blogs and other Internet-based collaboration tools can also be used to communicate information during emergency situations such as the SARS outbreak Online conferencing and broadcasting technologies can be exploited for hosted online discussions on issues such as: climate change policies, federal and provincial budgets, or upcoming elections.

More effective use of government information

Public sector organizations collect, store and manage huge amount of data covering areas such as: health records, crime statistics, education and the economy. Unfortunately this information is stored in numerous separate systems. Emerging Web 2.0 technologies allow government data to be "mashed up" by independent parties.

By combining disparate sources of information into consolidated applications, users can have easier access to data and have it delivered to them in the context that is relevant to their need.

The Ministry of Transportation in British Columbia, for example combined Map Quest data with real-time traffic data to provide timely advisories to motorists. By providing third parties access to some structured and unstructured data, governments can enable these organizations to create information services that the authorities themselves do not provide.

Streamline internal operations

Information silos that consume massive amounts of resources often restrict information flow. Sharing information within and across various agencies can drive higher quality and more timely outcomes.

For example, Intellipedia, a wiki developed by the U.S. intelligence community, permits employees across a number of security agencies to engage in open discussions on topics concerning them.

In April last year, the North Star Implementation Task Group, a team of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) employees, developed an action plan for knowledge management which includes the examination of Web 2.0 technologies to enable online collaboration in government.

Their work has resulted in the creation of the NRCan Resource Wiki.
Annual government budget processes typically consume substantial resources and time before anything could be implemented. Online collaboration between budget officers and program managers can cut much of the work, according to Macmillan.

Policy analysts could also use wikis to develop and update policy briefing notes and ensure input comes from a wider group of people.

Attracting Top talent

Governments around the world are challenged to obtain and retain top quality employees.

Today's high school and university students will become tomorrow's leaders, and the best way to reach out to these talented individuals is through the Internet-based technology they use, said a recent Deloitte report. This report urges governments to establish environments that challenge and engage the so-called Generation Y. The report also suggests that governments look at and emulate innovative recruitment programs in companies such Google to improve their ability to develop, attract and retain talent.


We have been following the developments of Web 2.0 in addition to activities in the government sector, and see also tremendous innovation in the FSI sector, also starting to waken up that they need to start working on creating new business models to support the emerging generational needs for working in a more social, engaging and with access easily to people, irrespective of their role in the organization to execute business needs.

We often the term mashing web 2.0 solutions together - but in many respects we are smashing the old paradigms of how business in her Frederick Taylor roots were perceived to be one that is far more human and authentic and interactive. Clearly with the evolution of these new forms of social enabling tools we are well on our way to create new employee, customer, or partnering experiences.

Key Web 2.0 Innovation and Growth Reflection Questions

1.) How well prepared is your organization to take advantage of these solutions?
2.) Do you have a Web 2.0 strategy, business owner, and roadmap that represents your overall business needs, vs point solutions?
3.) Is your leadership team or employees having ease of access to blogging or wiki tools to support them in their day to day interactions, or increased opportunities for employee engagement?
4.) Are you exploring the value of virtual worlds and how this can make a difference to your organization?

If you would like a copy of our white paper on Web 2.0 that tackles some of these questions, send us an email to with your name, company and phone number and we would be pleased to forward you some of our recent best practice research.

Nestor E. Arellano, IT Business CA, May 28th.

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