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Computing by the people, for the people

Across several different sectors of computing, participants are talking about a trend to add social, collaborative or self-service features to certain application categories. Perhaps it's now time to join the dots.

Sometimes you're too close to the wood to see the forest. Across several different sectors of computing, participants are talking about a trend to add social, collaborative or self-service features to certain application categories. Perhaps it's now time to join the dots. As I wrote last week, these are all facets of a broad trend across computing towards the democratization of IT — the people that actually use computing, as opposed to those that make or manage it, are taking control.

For those who haven't seen it yet, here's a roll-call of the different categories of business computing where this is in evidence.

Social CRM is the term for a new trend in customer relationship management software that acknowledges (in Paul Greenberg's words) "the customer’s ownership of the conversation."

Enterprise 2.0 is (in Andrew McAfee's words) "the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers" to allow user-driven sharing of knowledge and information.

People management is another application category where social computing and user participation is creeping into various aspects of HR and talent management, from social recruiting to performance management.

Ad hoc customization is becoming a staple offering in SaaS applications and is an integral component of platform as a service. Meanwhile, cloud computing is making compute power available on demand to anyone who needs it.

What have I missed out? Add your examples in Talkback below.