The Washington D.C.-based Corporate Executive Board recently acquired the online technology community, IT Toolbox, for $59 million. What could possible make a digital hangout so valuable to an organization serving the world’s top executives? Let’s head over to IT Toolbox to find out.
While training to be an IT consultant at Ernst & Young in the mid-nineties, IT Toolbox Co-founder Dan Morrison encounter an employee-based knowledge sharing platform that allowed IT professionals across the company to share ideas and work together to solve problems. Born out of that experience, IT Toolbox provides a platform for IT professionals across the globe to gather and share practical IT information.
Unlike traditional static websites, IT Toolbox is really a series of interconnected user groups, blogs, wikis, and what the creators call “knowledge bases”, on topics ranging from Oracle to Windows. This real time networking benefits the IT community as they work in an industry facing change at a break-neck pace.
The site also counts Dell, HP, Microsoft, and IBM among its big name advertisers. It makes sense that these companies are looking to get in front of IT decision makers precisely at the moment when they’ve logged on to discuss and recommend IT products and services to the each other.
IT Toolbox’s rise parallels the nascent acceptance to social networking and user generator content in general. It’s no coincide, then, that the IT site saw an 88% increase in page views from Q2 2006 to Q2 2007 the very year that YOU earned the title of Time’s person of the year. The growth is especially remarkable for an online community that’s already been around for nearly a decade.
Look for the digital IT community to grow even larger as it can now tap into the CEB’s worldwide network of businesses.
At first glance, an organization made up of corporations and non-profits may be an odd partner for the collective IT community. Upon closer look, the two groups both share a spirit of openness and a willingness to work with others in similar industries. According to its website the CEB focuses “on identifying management initiatives, processes, tools, and frameworks that will allow [their] members to avoid reinventing the wheel in addressing problems they share in common with their peers,”
Working together to avoid reinventing the wheel? Sounds just the goals of IT Toolbox. Match, er, acquisition, made in heaven.