Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two Doors to Enterprise Web 2.0 Adoption

Ben Worthen of the WSJ recently posted an entry about Web 2.0 adoption. He sited a Forrester survey that concluded Enterprise Web 2.0 solutions would gain broad adoption in 2008 despite clear CIO resistance to the siren call of blogs and wikis.

As a strong proponent of Web 2.0 in the enterprise, we at WaveMaker want very much to see a rapid adoption of these technologies at the corporate level. On the other hand, wishing won't make it so - the grab-bag of technologies and ideas that constitute Web 2.0 are bound to confuse the IT community.

There are two possible observations here:
  1. Damn the data, full speed ahead. Just like drug companies that sink a great deal of money into disappointing clinical trials that they then attempt to spin into medical break-throughs, analyst firms like Forrester won’t sell many copies of a Web 2.0 report that concludes Web 2.0 ain’t happening in the enterprise anytime soon. Thus there is a strong incentive for the report authors to refute their own data in the survey summary.
  2. Web 2.0 is being pulled into the enterprise, not pushed. Since the PC, all client-side technologies have been pulled into the enterprise by business users, not pushed into the enterprise by central IT. The main themes of Web 2.0 – rich interface, collaboration and user-driven content – have more to do with how users interact with their computers than with computer infrastructure.
At my WebGuild panel this week, Rod Johnson of SpringSource observed that open source technologies like Spring and WaveMaker build unstoppable momentum within the IT organization by solving fundamental problems that much bigger players either cannot or will not solve.

For Spring, the tailwind came the intractable complexity of the EJB standard that left developers desperate for a simpler, more lightweight java application server. For WaveMaker, the tailwind comes from the complete dearth of visual tools for web development that would enable MS Access, Lotus Notes and PowerBuilder developers to come out of the client/server dark ages and build the kinds of web-based applications that their end users want.

2 comments:

ckeene said...

Syscon republished this post here

twoeggs said...

Vendor push just doesn't work like it used to. Open source pull is the way Web 2.0 technologies will get inside the firewall