Creating online communities of customers and workers has been one of the hotter topics in business and technology this year. Whether you're on the business side, in IT, or are just trying to build virtual teams around shared goals, online communities are rapidly becoming a popular way to organize people and accomplish work in a highly collaborative manner. It's beginning to be understood that communities aren't just for socializing but for getting things done.
Enterprise Web 2.0
Dion Hinchcliffe on leveraging the convergence of IT and the next generation of the Web.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an expert in information technology, business strategy, and next-generation enterprises.
The announcement this week of the launch of Amazon’s Elastic Block Store (EBS) adds another vital piece to the cloud computing picture. The announcement is particularly significant since it takes the gloves off when it comes to meeting the demanding needs of enterprise class computing requirements. The Elastic Block Store finally makes it practical, cost effective, easy to perform traditional storage and processing of very large amounts of data in the cloud from a credible vendor.
The days when organizations carefully cultivated vast data centers consisting of an endless sea of hardware and software are not over, at least not yet. However, the groundwork for their eventual transformation and downsizing is rapidly being laid in the form of something increasingly known as “cloud computing.” This network-based model for computing promises to move many traditional IT capabilities out to 3rd party services on the network.
One of the more significant Web 2.0 trends in business this year has been the advent of the Web-based customer community, where groups of like-minded individuals focus around a brand or a set of product and services come together and interact online. Far from the cynical marketing ploy that it can sometimes seem, customer communities often sprout up on the initiative of passionate customers. Successful examples of this include XMFan around XM Radio, HDTalking for Harley Davidson, and IKEAFANS on IKEA products.
Last week’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston has been over for a few days and coverage continues to pour out in the mainstream press and the blogosphere, including here on ZDNet where fellow bloggers Dennis Howlett, Oliver Marks, and others have had excellent coverage. I was there early in the week and there was a palpable sense of interest from attendees to understand the current state of this emerging industry.
There were a great many product announcements at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last month, but it was the number of announcements around Web-based mashups in particular that received a large share of attendee and media attention. By my count there were at least nine significant announcements in this space, many around the business flavor of this emerging new type of ad hoc Web applications. These are often referred to as enterprise mashups and the growing number of offerings in this space run the gamut from Web widget assembly platforms for end-users to data-only swizzlers and remixing applications created specifically for IT professionals.
Some of the big IT news over the weekend was the announcement that Forrester predicts that the Enterprise 2.0 space will be a $4.
The striking contrast between the stories that we've been hearing lately about the slow going of SOA initiatives in the enterprise and the vibrant and rapidly growing ecosystems similar to them on the consumer Web has been generating a lot of debate and discussion in the enterprise IT community recently.
The announcement this week that Google released a beta version of a robust cloud computing platform called Google App Engine that lets anyone build apps on Google’s renowned and highly scalable infrastructure underscored a key trend in the software industry today. Namely that software platforms are moving from their traditional centricity around individually owned and managed computing resources and up into the “cloud” of the Internet.
The announcement earlier this week that IBM has put together an open approach for making user data secure inside of Web mashups, known as SMash, was the most recent step in an unfolding story about the way the industry is trying to bring structure and order to the rapidly growing and frequently unruly world of Web mashups.