The study, which involved 150 local and national government agencies across North America and Europe being surveyed, found that security is the most significant barrier to Web 2.0. When asked about the main obstacles to implementation of Web 2.0 technologies, 44% of respondents cited security concerns.
Jessica Hawkins, associate analyst at Ovum, said: “As agencies seek to improve collaborative outcomes across departments, governments are beginning to explore the capabilities of Web 2.0.
“While 16% of the agencies surveyed have already adopted Web 2.0, a further 42% have plans to implement it in future. However, data security continues to be a major barrier for some and indeed is by far the biggest obstacle.
“Fear around the security of data is a real issue and the risk can never be entirely eliminated. This may go some way to explaining why 41% of agencies have no plans to adopt Web 2.0 in the foreseeable future.”
Other obstacles cited include a lack of training resources (8%), restrictive regulations and a lack of ‘buy-in’ from senior decision-makers (both 5%).
Blogs, social networking and RSS feeds are the most popular Web 2.0 tools across the survey area. Some differences between North America and Europe exist, with European agencies seeing far greater take-up of wikis and blogs, whereas their North American counterparts are making more use of social networking.
Local government agencies are using social networking and blogging more often, while there is greater take-up of wikis among agencies at the national level. Citizens and recipients of services are the most frequently cited target at all levels.
Despite current reservations, Ovum expects to see increasing Web 2.0 activity at larger government agencies over the next 12 months as security fears are gradually overcome and fresh attempts are made to connect with citizens.
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