The decision two weeks ago by Yahoo! to support the burgeoning openid initiative, where users choose their preferred user account provider for logging into other Web sites, was a defining moment for the increasingly popular effort to bring order and sanity to the often confusing world of user identity on the Web. This major move by Yahoo! underscores how new models for user identity and security are becoming strategically important in the online world, and it also has long-term implications for the enterprise as we'll see.
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 worlds of SOA, SaaS, and Web 2.0 have been swirling around each other for a couple of years now and in 2008 we'll finally see these gel into a practical, modern vision of next generation enterprises. And a variety of forces are coming together to make 2008 the year that enterprises refit themselves for the 21st century.
Over the last year, we have witnessed the continuation of the steady movement of the mostly consumer-driven Web 2.0 phenomenon into the workplace that began as a trickle in 2006.
According to a random poll I recently conducted on Facebook, just over a quarter of 300 respondents -- 27% of them in all -- answered in the affirmative that they are provided with an easy way at work to post on a blog or put information on a wiki. I often ask this same question to gatherings of people whenever I get the chance these days and have been getting roughly the same answer for the last few months. Businesses are apparently starting taking Web 2.0 for a serious spin.
Yesterday on the Boston waterfront at the Reinventing the Enterprise summit, a lively panel of industry luminaries discussed and debated the topic of the event: How enterprises are dealing with the powerful transformational forces from the Web 2.0 era that are reshaping the workplace today. The issues and concerns around adoption and governance of Enterprise 2.0 was a hot topic.
Industry analysts, CIOs, and business leaders around the world are continuing to try to read the industry tea leaves in 2007 when it comes to the subject of Enterprise 2.0, the increasingly popular discussion of using Web 2.0 platforms in the workplace. The primary topic of interest? Whether Enterprise 2.0 brings real bang for the buck by making the daily work of organizations measurably more productive, efficient, and innovative. Investors and executives are just not going to make significant bets on Enterprise 2.0 in terms of resources and risk exposure without good information on the likely returns of implementation.
The promise of remixing existing online services and data into entirely new online applications in a rapid, inexpensive manner, often referred to as mashups, has captured the software industry's imagination since the release of first major example, HousingMaps.com, in early 2005. Since then, mashups have offered the potential to finally make widespread software reuse a reality, enable SOA initiatives to achieve positive ROI, and radically drive down the cost of application development while satisfying large applications backlogs that plague organizations almost everywhere.
Mainstream social networks continue to grow at a staggering pace in 2007 as they offer users compelling ways to manage and leverage their relationships with each other online. MySpace and Facebook continue to lead the pack as the two most popular social networking sites but for the first time, it also seems fairly clear that Facebook will soon overtake MySpace in overall usage, particularly as it offers a richer overall platform powered by a large and vibrant community of 3rd party application developers.
A new survey of the personal use of Web 2.0 applications by CIOs emerged late last week and provided another interesting, if high-level, datapoint about the future of Web 2.0 in the enterprise. Carried out by CIO Insight, the survey reported the usual trends like high rates of use of wikis, blogs, and RSS, as well as a few unexpected outliers, like 39% of CIOs listen to podcasts.
For well over a year now we've seen reports and announcements from a major industry analyst firms and others tracking the movement of Web 2.0 ideas into the enterprise. Gartner, Forrester, McKinsey, and many others have all weighed in on the trends or made recommendations, sometimes cautious and sometimes optimistic, that organizations should start heading down the Web 2.0 path. And public interest in Web 2.0 in the enterprise is widespread too, not in the least exemplified by the fact that Web 2.0 trends of all kinds -- business and consumer both -- are tracked closely here in many blogs on ZDNet. The big question? What do you really need to know today about Web 2.0 in the enterprise?