We decided to take a look at Web 2.0 this week to see if anyone has started making sense of it yet. And surprisingly, the answer is yes.
We've always been a fan of the simple explanation, so we were glad to see that there are some out there who hold the same values.
But since our focus is on network optimization, our chief interest lies in how Web 2.0 can be used to boost efficiency, productivity and the work experience in general. On that front, the on-demand camp is charged up about things like multi-tenanted applications and mashboards designed to give workers more control over not just the data itself, but the tools they use to derive value from it. If folks like Marc Benioff have their way, then everything from applications to e-mail to telephone service will be on-demand.
Much of the development activity surrounding Web 2.0 applications for business is centered around social networking, which is fine as far as it goes. But we also agree with the folks at the e-Consultancy that there is plenty of opportunity in developing workable tools that allow people to better analyze and manipulate their own data. The key here, as they point out, is gaining some insight into what the business managers need from the technology, rather than letting the techies simply push envelopes.
The most difficult part of making any clear assessments regarding Web 2.0 is that the enterprise market has become so fractured at this point that there is unlikely to ever be universal acknowledgement as to what is a success and what has failed. Organizations that mix and match applications, services and data to suit their own needs will have to judge for themselves, not to some external standard.