Gartner Portals, Content, and Collaboration Conference: Day 3 Notes

Planning for Five Major Mutually Reinforcing Discontinuities

This discussion was about how the following five things affect vendors and the IT landscape:

  • SAAS
  • Global Class [Infrastructure]
  • Open Source
  • Web 2.0
  • Consumerization

SAAS

  • Vendors are scrambling to figure out how to fit into the new model.
  • They should be looking at it as a deployment and financing option but most aren’t.
  • Requires a different business relationship: Service levels, vendor is responsible for functionality (rather than customer)
  • Easy for customers to experiment with
  • Never-ending payments
  • Security, integration concerns
  • Big plays: Team collaboration, web conferencing, eLearning

Global Class [Infrastructure]

  • Extremely loosely-coupled
  • REST/POX (Plain Old XML)
  • Assumes that security threats are everywhere
  • Does not assume any particular platform, OS, or browser
  • At the current rate of scale-out, by 2010, 30% of the world’s servers will be in the Googleplex

Open Source

  • Not just about acquisition cost. Pay attention to TCO.
  • Impact of open source is understated. (The presenter meant it was understated in the market as a whole, but I’d say it was also understated by Gartner and at this conference, specifically. Maybe they were holding out for the Gartner Open Source conference later in the week?)
  • No throat to choke (I’d say this is true only for non-commercial open source projects).
  • Study shows that if open source databases were bought like licensed software, they’d have 40% of the relational database market
  • Bottom line: What is your risk profile? (I thought this was a little much).

The Web 2.0 and Consumerization discussions were essentially repeats of prior sessions. Digital Immigrants/Digital Natives, Directors vs. Leaders, “Get a MySpace for your place”, etc., etc.

On innovation

  • Innovation occurs in the hands of the users so let the users go
  • Failure breeds success
  • “Democratizing Innovation”, by Eric Von Hippel (I found a free PDF of his book at http://web.mit.edu/evhippel/www/democ.htm)

Why Your Intranet Should be More Like the Internet

“The workplace should work like a machine, but adapt like a marketplace.”

On “Knowledge Management”: The internet is already solving the problem of content classification/organization and expertise location. Why not use these tools internally?

According to a Gartner study, the most often deployed (> 50% of orgs) social software types are currently: Email, IM, Web Conferencing, and Team Workspace. Less often are: Wikis/Blogs, RSS, Expertise Location, Social Tags/Bookmarks. (It is interesting to note, however, that most of the conference presentations treated “Wikis/Blogs” as almost passe, saying, “Most of you are already experimenting with these technologies internally”)

Social software functionality can be grouped into technologies that help:

  • Create
  • Organize
  • Find
  • Interact

Gartner is preparing its Magic Quadrant for Social Software. No one’s in the Magic Quadrant yet. The categories of vendors will likely be:

  • Social Software Suites
  • Wiki-centric
  • Blog-centric
  • Discussion-centric
  • Specialists

Critical functionality for social software deployments in the enterprise:

  • Open (from a technical perspective and from a “who can use it” perspective) and easy-to-use
  • Expose connections through bookmarks/tags
  • Provide a bridge to email
  • Focus on people first. Identify evangelists. Appeal to self-interests
  • Provide initial structure but be flexible and don’t overdo it
  • Lead by example, reward participants with attention
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