Tectonic forces displacing enterprise applications boundaries are very diverse, I don’t pretend to be exhaustive here, but I’d like to highlight the ones having in my opinion a significant impact:
- Ubiquitous good quality (bandwidth) web access – check broadband stats – encouraging employees mobility
- Web crazy expansion (5.5M new users per week, 1.3B Internet users in Dec 2007) and more specifically mobile web expansion (3.2B mobile devices and among them 1.2B with a modern web browsing user experience) and explosive e-commerce growth - check IDC stats : 50% internet users will buy on line this year – favouring extended enterprise process development
- Users are educated at home on web based applications, noticeably on web 2.0 applications (Social Networking, Blogs, Wikis, …) and are increasingly accepting the Cloud Computing model relevance by using it (personal e-mail, Instant messaging, social bookmarking, photo & video sharing, e-banking, ….) – preparing for webtop and web 2.0 introduction in the enterprise (check "moving from deskltop to webtop" post)
- SOA and Mashup emergence as a distributed application architecture
- Transactional processes automation maturity – very typical of the ERP supported ones – will privilege productivity gains and transaction costs reduction (referring to Ronald Coase « The law of the firm ») in automating collaborative processes and exception management, paving the way to ERP/Web 2.0 integration
This nice cocktail augmented with a solid number of “ Y Generation ” employees -- born between 1982 and 1994 - having grown with the natural use of SMS, instant messaging and social networking on the Web and which will be enterprise leaders in the next ten years - prepares the company with its change towards Enterprise 2.0 (first defined by Andy McAfee) characterized by the use of the Web 2.0 collaborative applications within the enterprise to harness collective intelligence.