Dennis Moore, General Manager for Emerging Solutions at SAP, spoke at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference about integrating web 2.0 technologies within the context of traditional enterprise applications. Dennis described how a seemingly-simple web 2.0 action, such as booking a meeting room, involves a fair amount of behind-the-scenes software complexity. In this case, for example, the software must determine whether the room is available, participant security access to the room must be verified, internal company billing must be handled, and the entire transaction must be journalized.
All this begs the question of whether enterprise 2.0 software implementations are actually less complicated than traditional enterprise deployments. On the surface, the obvious answer is that enterprise 2.0 software tools are simpler, and therefore they require smaller deployments. However, this simplistic response sidesteps the real issue: implementation failures generally arise from non-technical causes, such as lack of proper planning, internal politics, and so on. This is true whether we are talking about traditional ERP deployments, SOA adoption, and now enterprise 2.0.
As enterprise 2.0 products gain traction in the market, and the deployments become larger, the implementation issue will become increasingly significant. Please let me know your thoughts on this important issue.
UPDATE: For more on this issue, see this post.