We are in a web-centric world and the pace of change is quickening. Broadband, powerful hosted software applications and the rich functionality of web 2.0 are driving change in business
The new internet generation
The Google and MySpace generations are upon us and users are demanding new and better applications with a rich, personalised experience. Users both inside and outside the enterprise expect to interact on all levels using ever advancing web applications. The MySpace generation assumes they will be able to conduct business 24×7 via the enterprise’s digital interfaces – if they find they can’t, they’ll quietly move on. Your staff will expect to be able to do their job using the same kind of tools they capitalise on in their personal life, and without strictly policed digital boundaries.
Companies of all sizes need to manage increasing quantities of data and teams collaborating on projects must share information securely, regardless of location. In order to be competitive, growing companies need to embrace collaborative working and establish an infrastructure to support it.
People involved with projects or business initiatives are often dispersed across the enterprise and may be outside it, for example suppliers and partners. Information portals provide an entry point for users so that they can find, edit, upload and share information. Where appropriate, users will follow corporate workflow processes or procedures.
It’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel. There are some excellent Open Source applications and portals from which custom solutions can be developed; open or ‘loosely coupled’ architectures protect the investment of the end-customer. Sophisticated products such as Microsoft Sharepoint are also focused on this market. The good news is that enterprise-class solutions are now available to small and medium-sized business at an affordable price.
Some experts on future trends claim that more than 60% of businesses that will have the greatest commercial impact in the next 10 years have not yet been formed! For evidence of how this is possible, you only need to look at companies like Google, Facebook and YouTube. Today it’s Web 2.0 but we ain’t seen nothing yet!