Bringing Web 2.0 technologies to the enterprise today is mostly an academic exercise. Social media sounds just peachy until you ponder corporate must-haves like security and executive buy-in.
But the log jam appears to be breaking based on two developments:
- CIOs at least know that social media is important and things like blogs, wikis and composite Web mashups have their place.
- Vendors are experimenting heavily and are likely to find a secure way to build these Web 2.0-ish features into existing applications.
The timing, however, is tricky. The big vendors--you know the ones you don't get fired for buying--are on board the social media bandwagon. Dennis Howlett has been on the case and chronicled Oracle's efforts. In a nutshell, Oracle has created a Web 2.0 team looking to sprinkle social media throughout the enterprise.
The creation, Oracle AppsLab, which is run by Paul Pedrazzi, Jake Kuramoto and Rich Manalang, is an interesting development. Oracle says:
"Oracle AppsLab is a think-tank developed to drive adoption of new web patterns and technologies across Oracle’s business and products. We’re a small group dedicated to living and breathing Web 2.0. This blog is our space for sharing our ideas."
AppsLab give enterprise customers a window into how social media is infiltrating Oracle and bubbling up. As Dennis notes it's a welcome development.
However, AppsLab is really a game of playing catchup. SAP's SDN community is more transparent and wide ranging.
To be honest I don't have the experience with either to compare and contrast (luckily Dennis did) but you can see where things are headed.
Once IBM gets its social media act together you can envision a lot of chips falling into place.
But first there clearly needs to be more experimentation to see what's possible. And then the real work begins to actually get this stuff into products.
- Will a Web 2.0 infiltration to the enterprise be a security risk?
- Will these composite Web 2.0-ish apps be reliable? Michael Krigsman says Web 2.0 clearly isn't ready for prime time. In fact, Web 2.0 is more like Failure 2.0.
Until security and uptime is addressed the whole Web 2.0 in the enterprise isn't going to happen no matter how much CEOs get it. At least vendors are starting to seriously ponder the possibilities. But until these technologies are built into your friendly neighborhood ERP platform don't expect that "when " to come anytime soon.