Brad Feld

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More Thoughts on Consumer Internet Innovations Migrating to the Enterprise

Nov 02, 2007
Category Technology

I have very smart friends.  They challenge me all the time.  One of them sent me the following email in response to my recent posts about the enterprise such as Get Ready For Selling To The Enterprise To Be A Big Deal Again.

His question / comment was: What are the types of Web2.0 things you see moving into the enterprise?  Or is it more “conceptually” rather than specific-product oriented?  I see update of wikis; I think the EventVue type of nice app will be taken up; but the two biggest things in the last couple of years are the dominance of Google (which is already used in the enterprise), and Facebook, which just does not seem applicable in an enterprise sense (people use it, but kind of the same way they use LinkedIn. 

I responded with: I describe it as “consumer Internet innovations migrating to the enterprise” rather than “Web 2.0 in the Enterprise” (although the second is how the pundits want to coin Enterprise 2.0.)  The componentry is what is interesting.

  • Broad adoption of RSS
  • Content tagging
  • Social computing for filtering / communication / relevance 
  • Embedded search across systems 
  • Broad audio / video interoperability within and across companies (“unified communication” – finally) 
  • Industrial strength web-based apps (there is still a remarkable amount of legacy desktop app infrastructure) 
  • Collaboration (this is wiki) 
  • Integration of collaboration and legacy data (database driving wiki) 

When you think of enterprise, don’t think of < 1000 people. That’s SMB and can easily adopt the consumer facing and SaaS stuff. Think 10,000+ with an IT organization and a ton of legacy shit.  That’s where the fun (and money) is.

He responded with: All these things make sense to me.  It seems like the key is that the way you adapt them to the enterprise may actually be quite different than the way they are used and organized in consumer circles.  The children that develop the consumer app will get hammered in the enterprise unless they bring in some gray.