Gartner Measures EU Web Platform Activities

Apr 15, 2010

The EU distinguishes itself by stressing cooperation and technical interoperability in the digital age through various online platforms. To measure its success, it contracted the Gartner market research firm to do a survey. The results are now available.

Gartner conducted the "Exchange Platforms Survey: User Experience and Expectations" at the end of February and has published the results. The market research firm, under contract from the European Commission, measured the success of three European webportals, Semic, OSOR and ePractice, as to the requirements and participation of users.
The researchers based their results on a questionnaire sent to 800 individuals in 65 countries. More than half (close to 500) were users of ePractice.eu, a community platform with the most users (3,000, compared to 600 for Semantic.eu and about 500 for OSOR). Practically the remaining responses were divided between Semantic and OSOR. Italy was the top respondent (about 100), followed by Spain, Germany and Belgium (at 60 respondents). Gartner concludes that these countries have the largest activity among the three platforms.

IT positions were at the top of the active users list for the ePractice, OSOR and Semic platforms. (Courtesy, Gartner)

The largest percentage of users come from IT. The EU can be happy that about half of the users are "ambassadors," that is, they often and gladly recommend the platforms. A slightly lesser percentage recommend their favorite platform only if there is real interest shown. Ease-of-use and mission criticality are therefore quite high among user perceptions. Some lack of agreement, however, surrounds whether the platforms could be merged. Some fear information overkill and confusion while others claim time-saving and scope expansion possibilities. Because the user population is high or at least increasing for all platforms, the EU consultants give them a green light for promotion and expanding content, usability, and Web 2.0 functionality.
The detailed Gartner survey results (at 75 pages) are available as a PDF from the OSOR.eu news website.
The Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) program from the EU runs from 2010 through 2015 and focuses on back-office solutions for interaction between European public administrations or those that implement community policies and activities. ISA is the successor program to the IDABC that expired in 2009 and which brought the OSOR.eu information service to life. OSOR (Open Source Observatory and Repository) meanwhile has instituted an open source code-sharing platform, OSOR.eu Forge. Semic.eu (Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe) is an exchange platform for interoperable file formats, such as XML schemas that European agencies can use in common. The ePractice.eu platform, a professional community site for European web activists in the eGovernment, eInclusion and eHealth domains, has also helped the EU enter

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