Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions

January 14, 2009

Dion Hinchcliffe has popped on my radar twice today. First, I wrote about his role as the chief technical officer at Web search at Nexplore. My newsreader then delivered “Eight Predictions for Enterprise Web 2.0 in 2009” here. Mr. Hinchcliffe has more confidence in Enterprise 2.0 than I do. I am concerned about Enterprise 1.0 organizations unable to survive. Pushing the troubled companies to embrace Web 2.0 technologies as a survival strategy is a stretch for me. Mr. Hinchcliffe’s angle is quite different from mine. You must read his essay. In this Web log article I want to comment about three of his eight predictions. Note: I am not picking on Mr. Hinchcliffe; I am focusing on three ideas.

First, he points out that communities will become a priority for most organizations. I am on the fence about social systems in organizations. I have two concerns.I think much of the “social software” trend is hype. More significantly, I remain cautious because it is not clear how companies can operate social software without increasing certain risks. Regulated organizations come to mind.

Second, the idea that information technology will be aligned is a good one. But I find that organizations under pressure often become more internally divisive. The information technology unit often becomes the pivot point for certain power struggles. The poorly performing division may be viewed as a time sink and left spinning in the wind. The high performance unit will demand and probably get additional support. The harmonization of technology with poorly defined or on-the-fly business processes is not going to occur in many troubled organizations. One can argue that culture and organizational behavior has more impact on alignment than any other factors. Sorry, I don’t see much progress. I do see quite a bit of consulting.

Third, Service Oriented Architectures will become more streamlined. One can’t argue with a statement with the word “more”. My view is that most of the SOA progress will be in getting the systems to work with less latency. I don’t think the code will become more compact or the methods more streamlined. Most of the SOA applications are works in progress. The gating factor will be the organization’s appetite to invest and the expertise of the information technology staff and consultants.

I think that one important technical shift will be eDiscovery. Mr. Hinchcliffe does not include that application. Litigation is not on the minds of the Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon riders. One legal and botched eDiscovery process will suck up any available IT dollars in 2009.

In short, I find the assertions Mr. Hinchcliffe advances as music to the ears of consultants and vendors of trendy applications. My view is that the financial problems in many companies will be increasing in the first six months of 2009. Perhaps the economy will bloom in the second half of 2009. But until there is a way to link return on investment to the services and systems Mr. Hinchcliffe describes, I don’t think his predictions will come true. Of the eight, I think two or three have a reasonable chance of gaining traction. The rest will remain the rosy tipped vision of a world designed for consultants and start ups.

Stephen Arnold, January 14, 2009


One Response to “Enterprise Web 2.0 Predictions”

  1. Bob on January 27th, 2009 9:53 am

    I have enjoyed reading through your blogs as well as “Eight Predictions for Enterprise Web 2.0 in 2009?. There is a lot of company information and products on your site and I thought you might be interested in a new web 2.0 approach making the rounds in pharma by a company called Jumper Networks (www.jumpernetworks.com) they provide a very new and proving to be successful method of delivering context and breadth to search.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta