Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This week in links - week 47, 2008

In a panel discussion, John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb.com, described mashups as "the next flavor of integration skill," and he pointed to the iPhone App store and the Salesforce AppExchange as places where mashups and cloud-based apps are starting to flourish.

"In the current state of the economy, the word we hear time and time again from CIOs is 'reuse,'" added panelist Hart Rossman, vice president and CTO, Cyber Programs and Chief Security Technologist at SAIC. "By exposing data, providing APIs and letting the user community do a lot of the development work, you can drive down the cost of developing and supporting enterprise applications."
As Web content becomes more granular, compositional, and personalizable (not to mention more perishable), subscribability becomes a design consideration. Users want to be able to opt into dynamic content. This is a theme I've seen emerge over the past year in the Web CMS world as well as in Enterprise Search, where it's no longer enough just to let users save queries; they now need to be able to subscribe to their queries (or the content generated by them).

Bottom line? Feed-based delivery of content isn't just about aggregation; it's about empowering users -- giving them the power to choose how they want to consume content.
While systems and software used to be very “behind the scenes” and often transaction based, it is the case no longer. Consumers and businesses alike buy differently, consume differently, and recommend differently. Trends like social networking, video on demand, ecommerce will continue to force businesses to adapt to keep up with their customers. They cannot rely on systems that take years to implement and most don’t have the budgets to make large investments, at least for the next couple of years.

The growing focus on SaaS, cloud computing, application platforms, etc. are all responses to this growing trend in the market. There will be other solutions in the future for mobile, etc. that we haven’t even imagined. They all support the need for businesses to utilize systems that they can deploy, change and retire quickly. In my real job, I remember meeting with a venture capitalist who talked about how their firm looks for opportunities where they see lots of “wiggling”. He couldn’t describe what that really meant, or how one gets paid for wiggling; I thought he was a lunatic.
As consumers, customers and users of the Web, we are being re-trained as I write this. We expect immediate responses, (not necessarily decisions)—but we are being conditioned to expect some type of response immediately. We’re also making the assumption that conversations are public. To reference the Motrin example again, when the first e-mail went out it of course was copied and pasted on dozens of blogs. Anything you say, can and will be uploaded, screen- grabbed and re-published. Get used to it.

So forget social, forget networks, forget mobile—it’s all about the end customer/user experience. Think like a real person.
Forrester Research has published a new report on the state of wikis, blogs, social networking, and other new tools in the enterprise: Forrester TechRadar™ For Information & Knowledge Management Pros: Enterprise Web 2.0. Here’s what they said about wikis:

"One of the more promising of the Web 2.0 technologies for the enterprise, wikis show good evidence of helping transform collaboration in the enterprise. Users report success with many wiki endeavors when they’re sponsored by business leaders and connected to business processes."


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