The recent round of discussion of enterprise mashups has been a good one, lead primarily by a stellar write-up recently by Galen Gruman, and highlights a phenomenon that is nigh upon us. As part of tracking this, I've been spending the better part of the last couple of months searching high and low for good quality tools that let anyone build enterprise-quality mashups, and I can safely report here that there are only a few.
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.
I've been asked a number of times recently to succinctly describe the difference between using older, more traditional software models and things like Web 2.0. Besides getting tired of level setting what Web 2.0 is in a given crowd (which does seem to be getting easier however), there's a growing body of knowledge to refer to that explains how Web 2.0 seems to directly address a lot of issues with existing software models in the enterprise.
Ex-Microsoft uberblogger and Podtech executive Robert Scoble is starting to really feel the weight of responsibility when running a Web startup. Investors have provided cash flow to speculate on the company's prospects and now it's up to him to find a way to make it all work. Pointing to a great write-up on the challenges of Web 2.0 revenue by Ajit Joakar, Robert's mind is clearly on how he's going make it happen.
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.
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.