Most of you know that I've been tracking closely the inversion of control seemingly being ushered in en masse by the Web. That the interesting parts of the Web are increasingly contributed by its users directly, or indirectly, apparently establishing that the sheer mass of innovation is in control of the greater Web community rather than by a few centrally controlled outlets. The implications for business seems to be that control over a lot of things is moving from top-down to bottom-up, or at least heading in one particular direction instead of the other.
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.
With all the talk last week about MySpace becoming the #1 most visited site on the Web, there's also been a lot of talk about how Web 2.0 sites like MySpace handle their sharp growth rates. Because Web 2.0 sites explicitly leverage network effects, when they hit their inflection point there can be a simply unmanageable amount of new traffic. Think the Slashdot-effect squared.
IT systems have been storing essential corporate information in databases for years and making it easy to find and access by others via software applications for years. This sometimes makes the user generated content epiphany, as best exemplified by the likes of MySpace, YouTube, and Digg, and numerous others, seem rather retro to those that build and manage enterprise IT systems. After all, "haven't we been doing this for years?", they ask.
Many digital identity and Web 2.0 watchers have been tracking Microsoft and Google's recent efforts to achieve leadership in the potentially high-stakes world of Web-based identity. The goal: To provide a single, common user credential that is trusted, secure, and widely supported across the Web and within enterprises. The advantages and disadvantages of each firms' approach highlights an area of Web 2.0 that is very much in flux and without a clear outcome...
My posts recently about Web 2.0 becoming a true application development platform, and one that's mostly programmed by users, generated some interesting feedback on its own. But what was more interesting was a lot of parallel discussion in the industry as others notice the same thing.
My previous post discussed how IBM is planning to use Web 2.0 software like wikis as a foundation upon which to build so-called situational software. These are instant applications which can be assembled just-in-time (and not created from scratch) from the rich pallette of services and feeds available on the Web and in the enterprise. They are situational because they can be created right as the situation they are needed for appears, and even thrown away when the reason for their existence goes away.
ZDNet blog colleague Joe McKendrick beat me to the punch earlier this week with an excellent analysis of the fascinating ramifications of IBM's recent statements at the New York PHP Conference aimed mainstreaming mashup and Web 2.0 technologies. If IBM is getting seriously involved in this, there must be something to it, and certainly Rod Smith's comments are receiving considerable attention.
ZDNet blogger Richard MacManus wrote a good post late yesterday about the significant release of eBay's new community wiki pages, likely the largest commercial wiki effort to date. But eBay is almost certainly just one of an early beachhead of corporate wiki efforts that will attempt to use wikis to create better overall customer service experiences for their users, suppliers, and partners. Not leveraging the contributions of a company's most impassioned and enthusiastic customers is starting to be seen as an significant oversight in many business circles.
Harvard Business School's Andrew McAfee has been doing a compelling job lately describing the use of Web 2.0-style collaboration techniques in the enterprise. He calls this Enterprise 2.0 and has been reporting a very positive response to these concepts in the famed business school's most senior executive education program.
David Boloker, CTO for Emerging Internet Technology at IBM and one of the spearheads behind the OpenAjax Alliance, gave a presentation today at Real-World Ajax here in New York City summarizing the organization's accomplishments over the last few months. Ostensibly formed to ensure the Ajax market doesn't fragment into incompatible toolkits, standards, and approaches, the initiative seems to have matured considerably into a detailed strategy for making Ajax a capable new Web platform for online software.