Web 2.0 will revolutionise collaboration with IT suppliers, Forrester has predicted.

Christine Ferrusi Ross, VP at the analyst firm, said the young people entering work were bringing with them a new culture, and an expectation of using social networking tools.

“The ‘millennials’ are flexible, even overconfident, and they bring a new attitude,” she told CIO sister title Computerworld UK at the Forrester Services and Sourcing Forum in London. “Thirty eight per cent of them use social computing each day, compared to 13 per cent of the rest.”

This is changing how businesses make use of Web 2.0, which in turn changes how they discuss strategy with suppliers and come up with ideas, she said.

Businesses could take advantage of these developments by collaborating in more interesting and potentially more productive ways with their suppliers, she said.

“There’s now room for more innovation and flexibility,” she said. “Previously people have sometimes been a bit ‘command and control’ with suppliers.”

Not all executives and CIOs would be “enamoured” with the idea, she said, but examples of social networking in use at work could help chief information officers and section managers highlight the benefits.

One European pharmaceutical company was attempting to use a new document management system, she said, but had found staff preferred a Wikipedia-like online system instead.

Express delivery firm UPS posts staff information “in Wiki format, but on a private network”, she said, and Swiss construction company Implenia used Second Life to test some environments and reactions to construction.

Concerns remained over the security of information and the responsibility of staff in controlling data when it is on new platforms, she said, but companies adopting Web 2.0 effectively would define clear policies and checks on its use.

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