How can enterprises deal with web2.0 hosters?

How enterprises will deal with the growing web2.0 services available freely through port 80 and 443 on their firewalls?  I perceive that enterprises will be hiding behind policy documents which state though shalt not, must not, do not, action will be taken.

Well if you are anything like me the security policy is still in that “to read never” pile and if you are lucky I’ve read some parts of some corporate emails on security.  I wouldn’t class myself as a rule breaker so I guess I’m common amongst employees.

So what should I do when the day comes that a business partner wants me to collaborate and use a hosted web2.0 service?  I think at that point I’ll have to take a common sense approach and ensure that I only post data up there that I’d be willing to email to the partner anyway.  So how could corporate’s deal with web2.0?

Well the simplest way is if you want control put something in place that allows users to easily deliver web based teamspaces and IM federation (not too worried about email as we have that now already so I can’t see any scope in a web2.0 service that delivers email on top of my corporate email).  Make the provisioning of the provisioning of the teamspaces simple, make the provisioning of user accounts and permissions simple (if it takes more than 2 minutes to configure a workspace and users then there is a problem for me).  Finally IM federation – this is key.  If I were the customer and could see presence information and IM my contacts within the partner organisations then I’d be very happy.

In the long run however I can’t think of any large organisation which will be without disrupters using the latest internet based tools for collaboration.  Instead of factoring all this new technology out by policies and rules organisations could use the data they hold on their corporate firewalls to see what services their users are demanding and then consider how to integrate these services into their offerings (either internally, in DMZs or direct from a service provider on the internet).

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4 Comments

  1. Having “art” in your first name doesn’t help if you are crap at drawing but I think I’ll do a few more sketches in future as it gets the point across nicely!

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  2. The larger the enterprise, the greater the inertia. Everytime something new comes along – particularly at a peer level then the scenario you describe ensues. This is an example of disruptive technology.

    Of course, once they see the benefits, apply the controls etc. then it becomes the norm. Take the use of SMS text messaging for alerts etc. or IM – all started as very personal, almost cliquey technologies. Now very much enterprise.

    This is not helped by a) the speed of the introduction of new techs b) the drive to change quickly being placed on enterprises c) collaborating with multiple partners/customers who are at very different levels.

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  3. Vince, Thanks for your thoughts. I agree. The major difference I see between web2.0 and previous disrupters is the richness of the internet experience which will make more users tempted to utilise the disrupting technology.

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