Enterprise mashups are actually good for business, though they are often seen as fun, techie productivity tools for on-the-spot problems -- a la spreadsheets -- versus interfaces that can shape strategic decisions.
Enterprise mashups are actually good for IT departments, though the tech folks often resist handing over too much development capabilities to end-users for fears they will really screw something up.
Business gets more innovation, IT gets more time
At least that's the view of enterprise mashup proponents. MiMi Levine, writing at JackBe's Mashup Development Community site, points to two new white papers, prepared by BizTechReports.com, that make the case to both executives as well as developers as to why deploying enterprise mashup platforms make sense in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and energy levels.
I have mashed up both the business and developer benefits into these six leading benefits that can be seen from nurturing enterprise mashups within an enterprise:
Increase productivity: "An enterprise mashup platform enables companies to reduce the amount of work they do in order to get data to business users so that they can make decisions." Such an approach shifts workloads from overburdened IT staffs to non-technical staffs -- without "custom IT development" or "cumbersome integration solutions."
Increase innovation: Because they're user-friendly and user-driven, both senior executives and line business staffs can explore new opportunities and solve problems in new ways. An enterprise mashup platform would contain a "library of all mashups to be built so that they are available to anyone who wants to leverage existing thinking without reinventing the wheel."
Improve data security: "Enterprise mashup platforms enable an organization to quickly leverage the value of existing data securely across widely disparate sources, bringing information into tailored user interfaces, portals or platforms."
Reduce burden to IT departments/increase freedom for business users from IT: "Rather than depending on the IT staff to develop a new report, business managers and analysts can mix and match sources to create their own dashboards from which to make decisions."
Increase standardization across the enterprise: "Enterprise mashups offer a new way to accelerate the process of bringing together information throughout organizations by using Web data standards to access critical information."
Bring an "App Store" model approach to development, versus big-bang projects: The micro-applications created for enterprise mashups contrast with the traditional approach to software development, in which "an entire application might be altered in order to enable access to that narrow set of purchase order data. Mashups provide a way for developers to better approach these needs with a more agile solution."