Can Web 2.0 Evolve Into an Enterprise Technology?Wikis, mashups, social networking, even Second Life can have a place in business, but they need to improve legacy interoperability???and IT needs to overcome its skepticism.
Forget outsourcing. The real threat to IT pros could be Web 2.0. While there's a lot of hype and hubris surrounding wikis, mashups and social networking, there's also a lot of real innovation—much of it coming from increasingly tech-savvy business staff, not the IT department.
"We've cut IT staff by 20%, and we're providing a whole lot more in terms of IT services," says Ken Harris, CIO at nutritional products manufacturer Shaklee. Harris started with a mashup platform from Strike Iron, and found mashups such an effective way to integrate multiple Web services that he turned to Web-based service providers to replace in-house functions. Now, Shaklee gets its ERP from Workday and search from Visual Sciences, and it's looking at other IT functions that SaaS can replace.
All that interactivity ought to make Web 2.0 ideally suited for business use. After all, most workplaces are about production, not consumption. However, enterprises lag far behind consumers in adoption of Web 2.0 technologies. What's more, our poll shows that interest in technologies like blogs, wikis and mashups has gone down
during 2007, despite their explosive growth outside the firewall.
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