CIOs will begin to use Web 2.0 technology for customer facing services next year and push the technology further up the enterprise agenda as a result. Forrester Research has published its latest report, which predicts that the Web 2.0 market will be worth $4.6 billion by 2013.

”Social computing and Web 2.0 marketing are still in their infancy; and in general, the market is still in the experimentation phase,” said Oliver Young, a research analyst for Forrester. Currently Web 2.0 investment by organisations is biased towards employee collaboration, a trend Young believes will be completely reversed by 2013. The Forrester report is a five year forecast of enterprise spending on social networking, RSS, blogs, wiki, mashups, podcasting and widget technologies. Investment in customer facing Web 2.0 technology will outstrip collaboration investment by a billion dollars, according to Young.

Forrester analysed Web 2.0 spending in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Organisations are experimenting with Web 2.0 for connecting with customers and prospective clients. Young highlighted car makers General Motors, US bankers Wells Fargo and McDonald’s as enterprises pushing ahead in Web 2.0 usage. According to the research 56 per cent of enterprises in Europe and North America have placed integrating Web 2.0 into their business plans for 2008.

Forrester believe that if Web 2.0 is approached and sold as a software-as-a-service model it will gain traction in the enterprise. Currently many in IT departments worry that Web 2.0 systems are insecure and not of sufficient strength for enterprise usage.

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Forrester: IT leaders set to embrace Web 2.0 in 2008