Like it or not, Web 2.0 is here, and it's for real.
While there's obviously a lot of debate about exactly what Web 2.0 means, words like informal, collaborative, participatory and interactive are appropriate descriptors. And we can see all these trends making their way into the enterprise environment.
The wiki -- a freeform content repository which allows anybody to edit anybody else's contributions -- is already established, and formal enterprise content management systems are adding wiki-like features to keep up with the trend.
The mashup, a type of composite application that can be created by non-geniuses with few programming skills, will also arrive in the corporate world -- Gartner thinks within 18 months.
AJAX is gaining ground as a means of making Web pages more interactive. By handling a lot of the processing locally, AJAX speeds up response and makes a Web page behave more like a desktop app.
There are more examples, but these are enough to show just how powerful Web 2.0 is, and how scary it can be to IT departments, which risk losing control in the same way they lost control of PCs in the 1980s. Anybody can contribute to a wiki, and far too many can create mashups, which are very quickly expected to evolve to include workflow components.
Where's the security in all this? And how about data integrity?
One thing is certain: No IT department should relax and think that Web 2.0 is "just consumer stuff."