Platform vs Hodgepodge Enterprise 2.0
By billy.cripe on Aug 04, 2008
Mashups and compositing are hallmarks of web and enterprise 2.0. But what separates mashups and composite applications from more traditional integrations, is the blending of function not software. Integrations are about making different software systems work together - to talk the same language (or at least translate their language into a common transport language and then translate that to yet another proprietary language). Sigh. That was the life of a consultant for many many years.
But Enterprise 2.0 is about (in part) the bringing together of (previously) separate capabilities so that they can augment a common task, process, or purpose. Enterprise 2.0 is about evolving the technological ecosystem in which modern employees work. It's not about making employees learn new systems. It's not even as much about process consulting or re-engineering (though that may happen). Much like the entire paradigm of business communication changed with the advent of the ubiquitous telephone, the paradigm of business communication is changing now with the advent of the new communication and collaboration technologies that make web and enterprise 2.0.
The big difference though is that organizations want platform based enterprise 2.0 capabilities rather than a hodgepodge of different point solutions. This is because while Enterprise 2.0 technology makes it easy to composite applications and organizations don't need to spend additional money to integrate point solutions.
The reality is that there are tons of point solutions out there for free or nearly so on the web. But they are made and supported (if even) by communities of passion. Those communities spring up and dissipate relatively quickly - after all, enterprise ROI is calculated in years not months. While communities of passion will always be on the cutting edge, the platform players are committed to their brand and their solutions. Our software is not only going to be around in the years ahead, it is also 2nd generation - tapping the best of what is "out there" while incorporating disparate functionality into an enterprise ready platform.
That makes for a good strategic decision.