Friday, December 12, 2008

The learning curve for Web 2.0 - resourcing is the key

I'm closely watching (and reading) the new Department of Broadband and the Digital Economy blog. It is seeing a number of thoughtful and constructive comments from organisations and individuals.

The blog is highlighting to me one of the often overlooked key issues for organisations when implementing Web 2.0 tools - resourcing.

With 912 published comments as of Friday morning (7am), and an unknown number of unpublished ones (including several from me), the task of moderating the comments is enormous.

Add to this the complexity of actually responding and you're looking at an enormous resourcing cost for an organisation.

So should organisations steer clear of Web 2.0 due to resourcing issues?

I don't think so. I think it means that we must re-assess government processes and business models to meet the needs of our constituents, clients, customers and community.

If engaging and interacting with our audiences is regarded as important (as it should be), then government, and private organisations, need to appropriately resource and fund the right capacity to service this function, rather than attempting to funnel the public into channels that government feels comfortable with.

Perhaps this means reducing the number of staff working phones (to put them on online), or using outsourced contact centres for the online channel. It may mean totally reshaping jobs, policies and legislation to suit the needs of community.

There's nothing new about this. Where are the typing pools today? We've totally reshaped the workplace in the last 30 years - it will be totally reshaped again in the next 10.

While I see many fighting a rearguard action to defend 'the way we've always worked' - the bottom line to me is that, as public servants, our obligation is to serve the public, under the guidelines of the APSC.

When the public changes, so must the public sector. That's what is known as being 'customer centred'.

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