Web 2.0 is more than just another over-hyped consumer fad and will lead to “seismic” changes in the IT industry that businesses will need to learn from, according to CIOs.

The phrase web 2.0 refers to the ‘second coming’ of the internet and covers a broad range of new online services, social networking tools and communities such as Blogger, Google and MySpace.

All 12 of silicon.com’s CIO Jury IT user panel said web 2.0 is more than just a consumer fad and that there are lessons to learn from it for corporate IT departments.

Andrew Turner, head of IT at Aspen Insurance Holdings, said the ability to collaborate and trade more effectively online, with customers and service partners alike, is something that makes web 2.0 extremely attractive to business.

He said: “Being able to anticipate and exploit these opportunities effectively will still be the key to the success of web 2.0 in business and in my view it’s really a case of ‘who dares wins’.”

Paul Hopkins, director of IS at the University of Newcastle, said underneath the hype of web 2.0 there are “truly seismic changes” happening which the IT industry and business – both public and private sector – ignore at their peril.

Hopkins said: “Am I the only person who senses that the IT world is feeling like it was in 1992/93 – knowing that the internet revolution was going to happen but not really knowing what the implications would be for my business? Who would have thought that books would sell online but dog-food wouldn’t.”

Financial services companies will undoubtedly be the first to grasp the business potential of web 2.O and Graham Yellowley, director of technology at investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International, said it provides an opportunity for businesses to rebrand their internet based services and to start to rethink how to utilise the power of the internet in a more cohesive way than they have before.

He said: “So while the initial emphasis will be on consumer products businesses won’t be that far behind.”

The biggest change web 2.0 brings is that it finally takes computing strategies beyond the operating system dependencies, according to Peter Pedersen, CTO at online betting company Blue Square.

Mark Foulsham, IT director at insurance company eSure, added: “Many markets have seen competitor differentiation through tailored services to their customers and those adopting web 2.0 principles fit into this category.”

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Steve Clarke, head of internal computing, AOL UK
Mark Devine, IT director, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Rorie Devine, CTO at Betfair
Mark Foulsham, IT director, eSure
Paul Hopkins, director of IS, University of Newcastle
Tony Johnson, IT director at Virgin Megastores
Colin Moore, head of IS, Department for Education and Skills
Peter Pedersen, CTO at Blue Square
Jacques Rene, CTO at Airclaims
Andrew Turner, head of IT, Aspen Insurance Holdings
Graham Yellowley, director of technology, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International

If you are a CIO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of silicon.com’s CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at editorial@silicon.com