This briefing document provides advice for Web authors, developers and policy makers who are considering making use of Web 2.0 services which are hosted by external third party services. The document describes an approach to risk assessment and risk management which can allow the benefits of such services to be exploited, whilst minimising the risks and dangers of using such services.
This document covers use of third party Web services which can be used to provide additional functionality or services without requiring software to be installed locally. Such services include:
Advantages of using such services include:
Possible disadvantages of using such services include:
A number of risks associated with making use of Web 2.0 services are given below, together with an approach to managing the dangers of such risks.
|Loss of service (e.g. company becomes bankrupt, closed down, ...)||Implications if service becomes unavailable.
Likelihood of service unavailability.
|Use for non-mission critical services.
Have alternatives readily available.
Use trusted services.
|Data loss||Likelihood of data loss.
Lack of export capabilities.
|Evaluation of service.
Testing of export.
Unreliability of service.
|Lack of interoperability.||Likelihood of application lock-in.
Loss of integration and reuse of data.
|Evaluation of integration and export capabilities.|
|Format changes||New formats may not be stable.||Plan for migration or use on a small-scale.|
|User issues||User views on services.||Gain feedback.|
Note that in addition to risk assessment of Web 2.0 services, there is also a need to assess the risks of failing to provide such services.
A risk management approach  was taken to use of various Web 2.0 services on the Institutional Web Management Workshop 2006 Web site.