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.
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.
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.
Peter Rip of Leapfrog Ventures did a really good take recently on what Web 2.0 will look like in the enterprise. I bring your attention to it because it brings out a few essential points and almost makes a few others I think are still missing in the larger industry conversation about Web 2.0 and its increasing push into the enterprise.
Interesting information from Gartner's recent Symposium/ITxpo about the future of IT continues to be the subject discussion in the blogosphere. While I'm far from being an unabashed Gartner fan, I will admit they tend to capture of the pulse of the IT business better than almost anybody these days. Their most recent prescription for curing IT budget woes (which have been relatively flat for four years running) describes nine major initiatives that could alleviate this situation. And it is also one of their more interesting information releases in recent memory.
The REST vs. SOAP debate can seem like an esoteric discussion about Web services, but it's not. REST puts the Web back into Web services by taking what's been so successful with the fundamental protocol of the Web, namely HTTP, and making it into a seemingly ideal Web services architecture. This model has been called Web-Oriented Architecture in certain quarters, and the label does seem to fit. REST, and it's little brother XML over HTTP, have increasingly gathered mindshare lately by sheer Darwinian competition.
I was in San Francisco last week at JavaOne at the same time that Gartner's IT/Symposium was taking place, though I was unable to attend Gartner's event. I was however on a JavaOne panel that discussed Ajax, SOA, and Web 2.0, the convergence of the latter two in particular which is a topic of special interest to me.
The idea of reductionism holds that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to simpler, more fundamental ideas. In contrast, Tim O'Reilly's now-famous meme-map of Web 2.0 is a terrific piece of largely holistic analysis. Holisim, which is the opposite of reductionism, says that the properties of any given system cannot be determined by the mere sum of its parts. In a small but important way, this captures an essential aspect of the debates that swirl around Web 2.0 and the next generation of the Web in general.
I've been spending a lot of time lately looking at solutions for automated business processes that are based on the online, low-barrier, and highly collaborative worlds of SaaS and Web 2.0. Primarily, this is part of my exploration of using Web 2.0 in the enterprise, sometimes called Enterprise 2.0, but which we call Enterprise Web 2.0 here.
As part of my recent exploration of developing strategies for using Web 2.0 in the enterprise, I find that time and again the lowly wiki presents itself as the most likely target for the initial adoption in the enterprise. For one thing, almost everyone has heard of a wiki, that Web page that anyone authorized to can edit at the push of a button, all without knowing even a smidgen of HTML.