Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Enterprise 2.0 Needs To Stop Being So Naive

Very interesting piece from Paul Michaud over on CloudAve on why the whole Enterprise 2.0 movement is not matching up to its hype, particularly for large organisations. Click here for original post.

From the article:
From my perspective, I think the Enterprise 2.0 crowd needs to come down to earth and get a large dose of reality. The world of Big Enterprise IT is not the same as a tech startup in the valley. Not every application is about Web and related tools, collaboration, mashups, etc. The apps where that stuff applies are frankly trivial and if that was the state of the world app complexity wise we wouldn’t have the issues we have and we wouldn’t even be talking about Enterprise 2.0. The reality is real Enterprises have issues with Organizational Structure and that same structure fights changes. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen attempts to redesign IT Org’s go down in flames or the result be just as bad as where they started. They have issues with tons of legacy apps that continue to need to be supported, integrated, updated,etc. Think Y2K people. Those Cobol apps are still going strong (as much as the thought of that gives me a rash) and they cannot support mashups or social computing, or be run in a cloud. How do you deal with putting Paul Michaud’s contact information into 500-1000 applications which are scattered around the firm globally and no two of which store and address or a middle name the same. These are boring mundane problems bu they are the real issues that keep CIO’s awake at night, not whether their employees can change the color of the GUI background on the latest app or have better internal chat facilities, or Tweet from their desk.

Speaking as an ex-CIO from the Financial Services industry, I know that the Enterprise 2.0 "industry" wasn't solving the really hard problems which we struggled with every day. E2.0 is not a silver bullet. And no, the solution is not to "just re-write everything". E2.0 tools and approaches have their place but they do not solve everything a medium to large organisation has to deal with. Paul is right, the vendors need to be less naive and take a reality check.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd