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Advocates Overcoming IT Resistance to Web 2.0

Grass-roots efforts show that security, compliance issues can be resolved. By Heather Havenstein

By Heather Havenstein
October 1, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Web 2.0 tools are slowly making their way to corporate users, often under the wings of champions who must work to overcome IT resistance to blogs, wikis, online communities and the like.

For example, Adam Carson said that Morgan Stanleys IT organization at times presented obstacles to his efforts to introduce such technologies to workers at the New York-based financial services firm.

Carson, an associate at Morgan Stanley, initiated the Web 2.0 effort there late last year by creating a network of 1,000 employees at LinkedIn Corp.s professional networking site,

At the start of the effort, he said, most of our IT department didnt get it. This was all new to them. They had just been stuck in the world of enterprise IT.

Suggestions for Implementing Web 2.0 Tools
-Create Web 2.0 awareness
-Locate supporters in the company.
-Make friends with IT.
-Approach senior management with a proposal.
-Work closely with business units
-Gather and distribute best practices
-Feed the open mouths; don't force it.
-Be patient, because change takes time.

However, he and a grass-roots team moved quickly to convince key members of Morgan Stanleys 10,000-person IT operation of the merits of Web 2.0 tools.

Those discussions have since prompted the firms IT managers to invest in Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) technologies, a key requirement for building and supporting Web 2.0 tools, he said.

Carson also noted that he has started working with IT managers to ensure that Web 2.0 applications meet federal regulations governing IT security at financial services businesses.

Today, Carson said, about 80 Web 2.0 projects are under way at Morgan Stanley.

The projects include the development of social communities to improve communication with clients and the creation of a system that can automatically turn e-mail groups into online forums. IT developers are also experimenting with Real Simple Syndication (RSS) and wiki applications, he said.

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