Dion Hinchcliffe

Dion Hinchcliffe is an expert in information technology, business strategy, and next-generation enterprises.

Latest Posts

Mashups: The next major new software development model?

At last week's Mashup Ecosystem Summit held in San Francisco and sponsored by IBM with an invited assemblage of leading players in this space, I gave an opening talk about the current challenges and opportunities of mashups. And there I posed the title of this post as a statement instead of a question. The reason that it's a question here is entirely driven by the context of who is currently creating the majority of mashups these days. Because even a cursory examination of what people are doing every day on the Web right now tells us that mashups -- also known as ad hoc Web sites created on the fly out of other Web sites -- are indeed happening in a large way, albeit in simple forms, by the tens of thousands online every day.

May 14, 2007 by


Enterprise 2.0 as a corporate culture catalyst

I've only recently had a chance to catch up and read Tom Davenport's post a few weeks ago about his skepticism of Enterprise 2.0's ability to wreak significant cultural and hierarchical change inside organizations. Those of you tracking the Enterprise 2.0 story know the drill, namely that applying Web 2.0 tools and platforms inside organization may or may not -- depending on who you are talking to -- improve the way we collaborate, run our businesses, and even potentially tap major new veins of previously unexploitable worker productivity. I myself tend to be a bit biased because I'm very close to many uses of these technologies and their use in the field. And that's shown me that if one trend stands out clearly above the fray, it's that most organizations are rapidly embracing these tools today, either from the top-down or at a grassroots level, and often both.

May 5, 2007 by


A tale of two Web 2.0 conferences and mashups

I've just come off a whirlwind conference tour that started in San Francisco last week with Web 2.0 Expo and ended with the Web 2.0 Kongress yesterday in Frankfurt. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak at both conferences and it was fascinating to see the differences in focus between the two events, as well as some of the apparent trends they had in common.

April 27, 2007 by


More results on use of Web 2.0 in business emerge

The last few weeks have seen a series of interesting new reports, studies, and papers on the past, present, and future of Web 2.0 concepts and applications as applied to businesses. Most notable for many industry watchers have been fairly rigorous new works by McKinsey & Company as well as Forrester, whom have each released the results of broad surveys of executives in various industries. The focus of both surveys was to capture a picture of the interests, activities, motivators for Web 2.0 adoption of several thousand C-level executives in medium to large companies.

April 3, 2007 by


Encouraging Enterprise 2.0: As simple as possible, but no simpler?

Blogger Euan Semple recently highlighted a key point about Enterprise 2.0 adoption that ZDNet's own Dan Farber also found worthy of note over the weekend. And that is that Enterprise 2.0 will happen in your organization entirely by itself, whether you encourage it, discourage it, or even consign it to benign neglect. Euan actually laid out three strategies in semi-tongue cheek form likely meant as a shot across the bow of complacent IT departments; whether you get out of the way, actively encourage it, or do absolutely nothing, Enterprise 2.0 platforms like blogs, wikis, and related social, emergent, freeform Web 2.0-style apps are coming to your company, and in fact are almost certainly there already.

March 12, 2007 by


More organizations shift to Web 2.0 while IT departments remain wary

A couple of recent announcements from two large, very well-known organizations provides some interesting data points on how Web 2.0 is affecting the product designs and business processes of otherwise very traditional institutions. Both USA Today and the U.S. Patent and Trademark office have recently unveiled strategies for letting their users use two-way Web capabilities to contribute directly to the products and services they offer. And many other mainstream companies, such as Pepsi as well as GM and XM Radio have been exploring externally-facing Web 2.0 concepts in their products for a while now.

March 8, 2007 by


Tracking the DIY phenomenon Part 2: Mass customization, mashups, and recombinant Web apps

In my last post, I took a look at the recent proliferation of Web widgets, which are modular content and services that are making it easier for anyone to help themselves to the vast pool of high value functionality and information that resides on the Web today. Companies are actively "widgetizing" their online offerings so that it can actively be repurposed into other sites and online products. And as we discussed in the last post, it's believed that letting users innovate with your online offerings by letting embedding them in their own Web sites, blogs, and applications can greatly broaden distribution and reach, leverage rapid viral propagation over the Internet, and fully exploit the raw creativity that theoretically lies in great quantities on the edge of our networks.

February 25, 2007 by


Tracking the DIY phenomenon Part 1: Widgets, badges, and gadgets

One of the hallmarks of a good Web 2.0 site is one that hands over non-essential control to users, letting them contribute content, participate socially, and even fundamentally shape the site itself. The premise is that users will do a surprising amount of the hard work necessary to make the site successful, right down to creating the very information the site offers to its other users and even inviting their friends and family members to use it. Web 2.0 newcomers MySpace and YouTube have shown how this can be done on a mass scale surprisingly quickly, and of course older generation successes like eBay and craigslist have been doing this for years.

February 19, 2007 by


Big software firms take aim at Web 2.0

While 2006 was a big year for Web 2.0 in the consumer space, it was barely on the radar in the enterprise world. That didn't stop volumes of press coverage, speculation, and debate about how applicable Web 2.0 technologies -- from Ajax to social networking -- would actually be to the business world. However those in the enterprise who wanted to go ahead and experiment or conduct pilot projects to see how Web 2.0 concepts work for them were largely stuck with very consumer-oriented Web 2.0 applications to try out. That's because until recently, the major software makers that supply the application platforms that run in the vast majority of the business world haven't had applications that specifically focused on Web 2.0 patterns and practices, things like social networking, tagging, mashups, architectures of participation, and so on.

January 29, 2007 by


Enterprise mashups get ready for prime-time

Last year we witnessed the rise of consumer mashups on the Web, with hundreds of individual mashup-based Web applications being released in 2006 alone. I covered this phenomenon in detail in my year-end mashup wrap-up, but now this innovation in software development is gearing up to move inside the enterprise as a raft of tools get ready to provide the tools to make it possible. What will this mean for IT departments and end-users? Let's take a look.

January 19, 2007 by