WorkLight® Inc., a Secure Web 2.0 for Business Company, released a report today that details market trends that highlight how companies are using gadgets, widgets and social networks to generate business with customers. The paper, entitled “Web 2.0 for Business – Trends, Statistics and Recommendations for Businesses”, reveals how companies are turning to consumer Web 2.0 tools and services, as part of the social Internet revolution that is forever changing the way consumers receive and share information.
The impact of this revolution is immense. With 75% of US online adults now using social tools to connect to each other, up from about half in 2007, companies are taking note of social media and its business potential, according to recent Forrester Research study.
According to a McKinsey survey of companies, 87% of respondents are planning to use Web 2.0 to interface with customers. The main reasons for tapping such tools as widgets, gadgets and social networks include improving customer service (73%) and acquiring new customers (71%).
“This is a clear indication that companies facing the current economic conditions are investing in engaging customers wherever they are already spending their time online,” said David Lavenda, VP Marketing and Product Strategy at WorkLight. “There is great business potential for transactional widgets, with over 615 million users, representing 65% of internet users worldwide, having engaged with a widget according to Forrester Research.”
The report reveals internet usage trends, and provides statistics about the use of social media in business. It also provides recommendations for organizations intent on tapping widgets and social networks for business purposes, including the following:
• Identify business needs, such as customer service and new customer acquisition, to develop secure widgets that meet customers’ needs
• Ensure security, scalability and multi-platform capabilities of secure gadgets and widgets deployments, allowing widgets to run on any major Web 2.0 platform – social networks, desktop and web-based gadget frameworks, mobile web phones, RSS and more
• Track usage, engagement and reach of widget capabilities;
• Ensure deployments meet regulatory compliance and corporate governance policies.
A widget (or gadget) is a mini-application that resides on the customer’s desktop, online homepage, or social network, or mobile device, which allows dynamic updates, actions and near-real-time information flow to the end-user’s fingertips. For example, banking customers can manage savings, checking and credit card accounts directly on their desktop or iPhone. Companies deploying such tools for business must ensure enterprise-grade security, integration with their existing IT systems and scalability to millions of users.
WorkLight® Inc. (myWorkLight.com) develops server software products that help businesses reach customers, channels, employees, and partners securely in the places they frequent, such as their PC desktop (via widgets), iGoogle, Windows Live, RSS readers, Facebook, the Apple iPhone and more. Through WorkLight, people effortlessly get valuable information they desire, such as account status, product availability, or updates about their latest transactions. They can then take actions, for example order products or services, respond to promotions or offers, and consult with colleagues, without having to log into a portal or corporate web site. As such, WorkLight transforms consumer interfaces into enterprise-grade business tools that directly increase revenue.
WorkLight is a venture-backed company with offices in New York, London and Israel. WorkLight has received prestigious industry accolades including being named as one of the "10 Startups to Watch in 2009," by Network World magazine, selected as part of CIO Magazine's Web 2.0 Product Suite, singled out with an honorable mention as one of Computerworld's "10 Cool Cutting-edge Technologies on the Horizon."
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