I was at the Enterprise Think Tank meeting this week organized by the World Internet Center. The event was sponsored by SAP to bring together SAP Labs and Research folks along with some Web 2.0 companies to talk about what we all are thinking about the impact of Web 2.0 phenomenon on the Enterprise. The companies that were invited in addition to JackBe were: Abgenial, Coveo, Google, IBM, nStien, Sitepen/Dojo, StrikeIron, SocialText, and Zoho/AdventNet. I got to meet some very sharp and talented individuals from SAP as well as from these Web 2.0 companies. Jeff Nolan from SAP led the sessions from SAP.
Someone in the audience commented that Web 2.0 is nothing but the Web As It Should Be. I feel exactly the same way about it. Anyway, while there were the usual warm up discussions about what Web 2.0 is, we also talked about other topics such as (guess we couldn’t resisting suffixing everything with 2.0):
- Audience 2.0: The new users who have higher expectations and have experienced the joys of using the new rich Internet applications popping up all around us.
- Developer 2.0: Too busy to design/develop software (busy reading blogs?), needs to be more productive than ever, and is heavily focused on collaboration and leveraging open source.
- Technical Challenges: Thick vs. Thin Clients, Offline vs. Online, mashups. How it is easy to gather information in heaps, but what can we do to better understand it and analyze it.
- Business cases/models: Situational Applications (as IBM calls it), new delivery models for software (SaaS), software appliance model, application modernization, and enterprise productivity.
- Finally we talked about what SAP needs from us Web 2.0 companies and vice versa. As Ross Mayfield from SocialText says here, SAP has a tremendous set of assets and by leveraging/partnering with us Web 2.0 companies could end up doing something pretty unique and innovative for the enterprise. Pretty exciting! Let’s wait and see.
One of the recurring topics that kept popping up is Governance. And this is really key, because it is a very important aspect that we need to address in Enterprise 2.0. A couple of months ago, I attended the Gartner conference on SOA/Web Services where one of the analysts said something like – If you are doing SOA, you better be addressing governance. No governance, no SOA, no nada. And that is right on.
The traditional enterprise software issues such as security, scalability, manageability will clash with the Web 2.0 culture of instant gratification, unanticipated usage, less governable users and will further clash with new trends such as SaaS, situational applications, mashups, and so forth leading to Enterprise 2.0.
So what do you think is Enterprise 2.0?