SOA + Web 2.0 = higher business IQ

SOA and Web 2.0 are changing the ways that we innovate, make decisions, collaborate, and engage with the rest of the world

Business intelligence is becoming 'collaborative intelligence,' thanks to the confluence of SOA and Web 2.0 approaches.

Business intelligence becomes collaborative intelligence

That's the theme of a Webinar I recently moderated, featuring noted author Don Tapscott, Molson Canada BI manager Katrina Coyle, and SAP's Lothar Schubert. (Audio replay available here - registration required.)

Don Tapscott, who broke new ground in 1996 with his book, The Digital Economy: The Promise and Peril of Network Intelligence, and recently co-authored Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, said that "Web 2.0 and service oriented architecture are really becoming a new mode of production." He elaborated that these new approaches are "changing the ways that we innovate, the ways that we make decisions, the ways that we collaborate, and the ways that companies engage with the rest of the world."

This has very profound implications for business intelligence and analytics, Don continued. "Historically, internal data has been accessible in various limited ways through traditional ERP reporting systems and MIS." Now, data is accessible from not only across the enterprise, but from across the Internet. As a result, Don also sees business intelligence evolving to "collaborative intelligence."

He sees the marriage of this new accessible data with the firm’s traditional internal data creating "an unprecedented challenge, as well as an opportunity to gain insight into the behavior of the company’s most important stakeholders, and to translate that knowledge into success in the marketplace."

That's because end users now share knowledge across "a Web that’s no longer based on HTML, but XML... We now have a platform for computation. In the sense the Internet is becoming a giant global computer that everybody programs every time they go on it."

Molson's Katrina Coyle also credits SOA with reshaping her company's ability to compete in a fast-changing and often fickle market. "One of the terrific things that we’ve had in the last year is service oriented architecture," she explained. "We can now deliver information to our business in any way they want…. we can drive information through emails, text, BlackBerries, and widgets. If we have issues anywhere in the supply chain, we can get that information out in real time to supply chain managers."