Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mashups in the Enterprise Challenges and Opportunities

If you are interested in Web 2.0 in the Enterprise and don't subscribe to Dion Hinchcliffe's blog on Enterprise 2.0 you really should since he is talking about the shift that information delivery Web2.0 technologies are going to enable. His latest post Mashups: The next major new software development model? is definitely on target with some conversations i have been having around 'mashup' technologies and their use in the Enterprise space.

Hincliffe's post clearly defines some benefits as well as the challenges and opportunities of Mashups. If you're responsible for an information delivery strategy in your enterprise you might have someone in your IT department who has brought up mashups, but most likely it is one of your 'geekier' knowledge workers that have sent you a link with a 'masterpiece' they have created- all by themselves. And don't worry, if they haven't yet- they will soon.

A couple days back one of my Dow Jones colleagues Lou Paglia posted on his blog about mashup services focusing on his recent experience with Teqlo. (which has also been on my list of services to try out for a long time). I was going to leave a comment on his post last week but my computer had a meltdown and i never did get a chance. Lou's comments are important ones, it seems that Teqlo, like others i have tried like Dapper and even Yahoo! Pipes are not yet tools for the 'common' end-user-i am convinced they will get there but honestly i really don't think that the 'common' end user is who those tools should be targeting in the Enterprise space. Enterprise mashup tools need to enable power knowledge workers who have the inclination to think about how content should be distributed to their coworkers- they will have some sort of programing inclination (like for example i have been know to hack a javascript but don't consider myself a programmer), will understand data structure and end-user consumption requirements.

I have posted my thoughts before on how i think mashup tools are going to be adopted by enterprise users- if i get to create my own content consumption model as a consumer- why wouldn't i be able to leverage those same technologies to create and share with my coworkers in the enterprise. Over the last few months however i have also been paying attention to some of the enterprise grade mashups such as Kapow (read through some of their 'success' stories to see how big companies are using) and IBMs QEDWiki. However, these tools are not really built for an 'end-user' in mind and as Hinchcliffe points out still need to address items such as "single sign-on (SSO), LDAP, JSR168 (portals/portlets), legacy integration, management, monitoring, RSS strategy, etc.".

Another important issue that Hinchcliff writes about is that most Enterprises are not ready because not a lot of Web services are available within the Enterprise to supply the data and back-end functionality to create mashups- and the value of course is in mashing up internal and external data. For years i have worked with clients to create information delivery strategyies built on SOA principles and those customers that have implemented such a strategy are ready to rock-n-roll in this brand new world as these mashup tools are enabled in their Enterprises.


Lee White said...


As I was reading this (it took a while, had to mark it and come back to it) I began to see a correlation between this and "traffic and flow" meme by Stowe Boyd and others. Is this really all one in the same thing?

It seems that the commonality is about being able to create (outbound) and aggregate (inbound)information in the manner that best suits the individual.

Not sure where to go with this thought but it sure feels compelling.


p.s. I got the idea for my webpage link from you...

daniela barbosa said...

Lee- Yes i tend to believe that it is part of the 'Lifestream' which i also broke apart from an enterprise data stream perspective in this post:

When What i Say and do Probably Matters the Most

Excellent use of the WebPage Link- very cleaver to use it as the link in your blog comments!