INTERESTING study out from the Economist Intelligence Unit on how executives view the potential for Web 2.0 technologies.
They find that the higher up the organization you go, the more positive executives are about the potential benefits of online collaboration and engagement. A full 85% of C-suite executives see the sharing and collaboration aspects of Web 2.0 as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins, versus 75% of middle management.
But then there’s this gem at the end of a news release about the findings:
CFOs are the most skeptical about the potential of Web 2.0.
Compared to CEOs and the rest of the C-suite, CFOs lag in understanding and support of Web 2.0 initiatives. CFOs are less likely to view Web 2.0 as transformative, less likely to think that it will affect all parts of the business, and less likely say that it will change the company’s business model. They are also less optimistic than their C-suite peers about Web 2.0′s potential to increase revenue and margins.
The fact that almost all IROs report to CFOs might explain why IR trails so far behind other professions in getting with the Web 2.0 program.
Let me quickly add that we are definitely not talking about the several CFOs who are IR Web Report members.
But here’s the truly confusing thing: The release reporting the above findings contradicts findings from a recent McKinsey survey.
In fact, a BusinessWeek story on the McKinsey findings, which was published just hours after the Economist release, says “Executives Remain Wary of Web 2.0.”
So what do we make of that contradiction — that McKinsey spoke mainly to CFOs, or that all such surveys should be taken with a good dose of skepticism?