Friday, 19 October 2007

What the Web 2.0 means to the enterprise

This is part 2 of my ruminations from the Web 2.0 event in SFO today. In an environment where the Web 2.0 buzz seems to float around a 19 something youngster (typically from Stanford, based in the Silicon Valley), I wonder how all of this would affect all those other entities and people that so obviously did not fit into the former category. Specifically, my quest was to find what the Web 2.0 meant to the enterprise…

Here are a few thoughts

  • It will probably mean an end to the packaged software industry as we know it today. Today's paradigm is too oriented towards organisational process or functions adapting to the way the software is designed, and yet it seems so blatantly obvious that no two organsations are really the same, despite similarities from the outside! Every organization has different work cultures, think and act differently, have different behavior and of course, do things differently. So why should they be asked to mould to one way of working, the best of breed way? Now, you might argue that this is old wisdom, so how will web 2.0 impact it. Well heres the thing, with the advent of web 2.0, u can choose to get a receivables management from App provider A that is spot on for your organisation, a general ledger from App provider B which gets accountant Tim worked up in ecstacy , etc… if you sort of see where I am going, even a single functional group can be serviced by a whole mashup of apps from different app providers . U get the picture… no need for big monolithic black boxes- the age of micro optimization is in.
  • It will mean creation of a "enterprise workspace" not bound by the limitation of physical devices or space. In an era of "clouds", where your access and work is not locked up in just your machine, your access to information, data and resources and knowledge is only limited to having a browser, and an interface to engage with-why do u need to carry your own laptop, pray? And come to think of it- can we do away with having come to the office everyday?
  • Finally, and this part is the one I find the most exciting- it will fundamentally change the meaning of the word "collaboration". For far too long has the system worked with a small group of individuals making the rules and decisions for a much larger group, and in the process a huge chunk of intelligence, innovation capability and talent basically goes unharnessed. Now, Web 2.0, with its ability to create online and offline collaboration, can help tap into this collective talent.

Fully played out, we are looking possibly at massive change…

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