by Erica Driver and Connie Moore.

When Forrester first published the report The Information Workplace Will Redefine The World Of Work At Last in June of 2005, we described the Information Workplace as contextual, role-based, seamless, guided, visual, and multimodal. We included some Web 2.0 technologies like blogs and wikis in our discussion about the elements of the Information Workplace. But the impact Web 2.0 will have on the way people work goes way beyond new collaboration tools. With Web 2.0:

  • Role-based evolves into individualized. While Information Workplaces must be role-based at their core to deliver relevant tools and information to a user in context, this is just the beginning.  Information Workplaces will move beyond role-based to become individualized. Web 2.0 technologies that will contribute to an individualized user experience include tagging and tag clouds, social networking, personal Web sites, syndication, mashups, and rich Internet applications (RIAs).
  • The Information Workplace is social. People can network and build communities via social networking tools and present a digital face to their communities with a personal Web site. In the more distant future, avatars may become part of this digital face. Workers can communicate with others through blogs, posting thoughts and opinions and having others comment on them, and commenting on other peoples’ posts. People can collaboratively create shared content with wikis — co-authoring material and contributing to and modifying FAQs and knowledge bases, for example. They can collectively apply metadata through tagging, leveraging tags others have already applied to a particular piece of content.
  • The Information Workplace is quick.Web 2.0 makes Information Workplaces easier to deploy, modify, and use than ever before. Web services and Software as a Service (SaaS) make them easier to deploy. Mashups make them easier to modify. Many Web 2.0 technologies make them easier to use. As a few examples, tagging makes information easier to find. RIAs make it easier for workers to make their way through complex-multi-step business processes. And social networking and personal Web sites make it easier to locate, share, and exploit expertise.