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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Web 2.0, Innovation & Enterprises

Lee cautions that whilst one of the most exciting benefits of Web 2.0 is the idea of individual empowerment and self-representation, enterprises can benefit from this technology in big ways. Addressing the needs of organisations obviously starts with an understanding of how they work and what their issues are (hint: draggable AJAX GUIs are not necessarily high on their list of points of pain). It also requires a much greater focus on engagement and the 'people' issues associated with what is essentially a process of structural change augmented by technology. There is a need for a brokerage role to help companies take the best of innovation occurring in the wild and translate it into usable, workable (sometimes boring) applications that empower their people to work and communicate better than before. Products can scale, but Web 2.0 products are in such supply that one would hesitate to dive into multi-million-dollar funding commitments unless sure of the product readily available. On the other hand, whilst pure consulting and services are bigger ticket items, it can prove hard to scale a service business. But it appears that there is a huge opportunity for hybrid strategies that can deliver on the value proposition of both approaches, and take advantage of open source software, in the area of enterprise social software. But it also needs the other Web 2.0 competencies that we are seeing among the better product developers: all the traditional interface, usability and technology skills plus new ones such as social network analysis, group behaviour profiling and ideas drawn from the meeting point of social sciences, information and knowledge management, technology, network and organisational theory. Earlier I wrote that it is becoming increasingly clear to me that these technologies really transform the web into a more effective applications platform; and jazzy frameworks like Rails facilitate bringing down the application development time and effort to a situation where something special becomes so common. With application development becoming faster, cheaper and easier, new avenues of design, development, enhancements and collaboration gets opened up:
Typical opportunities are :

- Decouple implementation details of application design and implementation – a long cherished dream
- Making deployment such an easy job – deployment of applications can become an easy & casual act – enabling to bring lot more people to perform this activity –potentially lot more than ever witnessed in the past. Users gains new level of control over their experience. Personalization on-the-fly - both on design templates and content layout structures are enabled
.Lee who has reported some early success concludes that what is going on with Web 2.0 is really promising, but cautions that applying this stuff to change the behaviour of organisations takes longer than the attention span of bubble investors. We are in it for the long haul. I can't agree more.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"