I was scrambling for a clean definition of Enterprise 2.0 yesterday and I was going to start with the one McAfee started on Wikipedia, but low and behold, the “thought police” (see excellent post by Dennis McDonald) had deleted the entry claiming it was “not notable.” I’m going to yield to the trail-blazers to resolve the definition-establishing process, but this brings up a more interesting conundrum. It appears, ironically, the Enterprise 2.0 camp have fallen victim to what those who are critical of it have been alleging– that there are gaping holes in an unstructured environment where there is no central command or authority to keep everyone on the same page. I’m simply pointing out the obvious, of course, (and I’d like to think I’m in this camp), but what will be interesting is to see how a genuine, grass roots, bottoms up effort moves forward to clearly establish itself as the technology continues to drive Enterprise behavior.
I’m going to keep thinking about this… It’s intellectually interesting…yes?
So they say Businessweek is known to fan the flames of irrational exuberance by publishing covers such as this one on Web 2.0 darling Digg’s founder Kevin Rose. The beauty of the blogosphere is you’ll immediately get a credible reaction like this one to put it in perspective.
The more I research Enterprise 2.0 and its possibilities, however, the more I am encouraged. I’ve tracked startup trends for years in technology, and have to admit, don’t want to get burned up upon re-entry (again). The ideology has so much promise, but so far, very little demonstrable case studies. I asked Dion Hinchcliffe– a leading voice in the Enterprise 2.0 to solicit “real” examples, proofs of concept for Enterprise 2.0 applications and initiatives underway in the Global 2000 or in the SMB market. He did that today on his ZDNet blog.
For my part, I’m going to start my own tracking. Please email me (susanATitsinsider.com) with any and all examples of users/knowledge workers utilizing Enterprise 2.0 tools to get work done– outside of the domain of the traditional, centralized IT command center. That’s not to say IT may or may not have assisted, but the idea is “independent and productive via the web.”
All right, admittedly this is a stretch. I actually picked up a physical dictionary today (who doesn’t use dictionary.com?) to see what I could do with SaaS. This is the best I came up with. Thanks to Wikipedia (who doesn’t love Web 2.0?), I discovered that the oil of the Sassafras tree is a key ingredient in the street drug MDMA or “ecstasy.” Now maybe the heat wave here on the East coast has me a little high, but as I have finished the reporting on the SaaS story for GITS and continue to investigate the Enterprise web 2.0 market… I think I might predict a rave party coming on in the knowledge-worker universe.
If what I’m hearing is true, and it’s THAT easy to create these “long tail” micro situational apps, we are headed for a serious reshuffling in the balance of power, once again, in the tech business.
I recently emailed my friend Phil Wainewright that “I’m so excited [about this new sector], I feel like a Pointer Sister.” I’ve been swamped with the research and reporting for this GITS story on how SaaS and Web 2.0 applications could potentially disintermediate the billable consultant. The interviews are facscinating. Kicking off with Dion Hinchcliffe, a brilliant guy, and someone who is clearly blazing the trail in the enterprise 2.0 space, I’ve been trying to absorb the full impact of changes ahead for what Hinchcliffe refers to in his writings as the “inversion of control” coming down the pike as a result of the next evolutionary, and perhaps revolutionary, paradigm shift in our beloved tech sector.
So many story ideas and initiatives are flowing out of this piece, I’m eager to file the story to get onto the next one. Unfortunately, GITS won’t permit me anymore to post the stories online here. You’ll have to subscribe to the newsletter to read it. Other interviews in the piece include: Phil Wainewright, Rod Boothby, Jeff Kaplan, Peter Cervieri of ScribeStudio, Josh Greenbaum, Dan Gisolfi from IBM’s Internet Emerging Technology group, and Amy Wohl, longtime analyst. OH, almost forgot, Joe Kraus, CEO, JotSpot.
Yesterday, I notice I had a flurry of activity on the blog (a blip really, in blogosphere terms, but a flurry in relative terms for my usual activity) with a reader coming in from a search for “Sapient Blog.” I would like to cover the Interactive Agency sector fairly aggressively, but my overtures to this market (other than Sapient, actually) have fallen flat. Remember, most of the firms I covered in my 2000 report have vanished. The survivors are very different firms today, even Sapient, for that matter. The firm I have the best relationship with– LBIcon— is a continent away and not a major player in the US. All that being said, it looks like I’m left standing behind the velvet ropes on this private club. So, it’s like I told a newly crowned Dick Brown taking over at EDS who chortled at me, “Be good to me Susan!” I told him he had to earn it. I’m now on the other side of that hubris and will have to earn the respect of the IA community before they’ll confide in me and allow me into their party.
In the absence of focusing on the IA sector, I’ve turned my attention to the SaaS market and the budding enterprise 2.0 sector. I’m finding developments and discussions in this sector extremely interesting and addicting. I’ll be writing a story for GITS for the next two weeks on how the prospect of new enterprise SaaS applications may stand to disintermediate the billable consultant. It has major implications for the consulting and systems integration markets over time. I’m looking forward to what I discover in the reporting.
I have managed to reconnect with more of the IT Services fraternity. Jeff Kaplan, whom I’ve always had a lot of respect for, has turned his attention to SaaS. I also had a nice lunch recently with Vinnie Mirchandani whose blog is listed in my blogroll.
*See post May 17 for headline reference.
The tech blogosphere is all about what’s hot. Clearly. There is a bit of “who’s hot,” but I love the collaborative engine that moves the blogerati.
Because I’m steeped in client work at present, I’m compelled to write about how web applications stand to reinvent how information gets disseminated at work. Is Web 2.0 forging yet another tech revolution for the Enterprise? My good buddy, Josh Greenbaum, who is a long-time writer in the ERP sector takes umbrage with the all the giddiness surrounding Web 2.0. You can read his thoughts on ZDNet or two excellent columns from Intelligent Enterprise here and here. Even Phil Wainwright, whom I knew before he was the rock star he is today, wrote a somewhat damning post last week on web 2.0’s readiness for prime time.
Oh, Joe Kraus. He’s become the poster child for Web 2.0. I just threw him in the headline to see if I could boost my blogstats. Kraus is CEO of installed enterprise app killer JotSpot.