From Early Stage VC, Peter Rip post about, "So What Does Web 2.0 in the Enterprise Look Like?
History can help us answer this question. If you are old enough to remember a world before PCs, then you have an unfair advantage. (Nice feeling for a change, huh?) You have seen history repeat twice and are likely to see it happen again. The answer is The Dominant IT Company defines the landscape for Enterprise IT. Everyone else follows.
Today the Enterprise seems to be The Land That Time Forgot. The IT lock-down of the Enterprise (because of TCO, security, compliance, and the complexity of legacy computing) and the innovation of Web Applications (a.k.a. Web 2.0) have set the stage for a reprise of Users vs. IT just as in the PC revolution. Web Apps are sneaking in through Port 80 just as PCs snuck in the front door twenty years ago, a phenomenon that ultimately wrestled Model, View, and Control from IBM.
Google is rumored to be working on a slew of new applications for delivery later this year and early next. I have no idea what they may be or if they really are. But I would speculate that some are targeted at business use cases that revolve around people, time, content, and communication. After all, they have Google Home Page, Calendar, Writely, and Gtalk/Mail today. It is not hard to begin to package them as business process applications and collaboration portals. Google already has a significant developer community using Google's APIs for creating mashups with other web services. Motivating them to redirect toward business use cases is a natural extension of the present. Once you own the process, you own the Control. If the View is the Web, Control is free web-based application, Model will follow.
It is completely conceivable that the future of Web 2.0 in the Enterprise looks a lot like Google 2.0. Let's hope the users aren't complicit, yet again, using only Google apps because of their interoperabilty. I'd hate to see innovation evaporate for a third time. It's been so much fun."
Is Google the New MS?
As a small business providing open source software (web 2.0 enterprise social software) and services, we use many of the open api's from Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and several other thrid party services. What's a little unnerving about Mr. Rip's post is the idea of a MS repeat, but this time with Google, that kills innovation. So far though, it has been our experience that users in the enterprise web 2.0 space are not giving much action to Google. But, but, but... It sure would be a drag if it happened that Google takes over the space. To me, the idea kills the essense of what web 2.0 is all about - open innovation, participation, open web.
I strongly believe that the new web 2.0 enterprise space will be filled with many small vendors that use open source applications and platforms to deliver Saas (software-as-a-service) for SOA (service oriented architecture). In fact, it is Google's success of helping users to find the longtail that will prevent it from taking over the enterprise space.