Getting Real with SOA and the Corporate Culture Barriers to Enterprise 2.0

I try to listen to as many Podtech.net episodes as I can, since there is some great advice for entrepreneurs, start-ups, VCs, and enterprise software deployment. John Furrier and the team are really in a great position in being able to deliver this type of content. PodTech.net puts out several episodes a day. Recently I came across a couple gems.

The two recent talks I enjoyed too place at the Fall 2006 Interop Meetup in New York City.Scott Kriens
Scott Kriens, CEO of Juniper gave a talk titled
“Keeping it Real” (sort sounds like getting real). He imagines a triangle of good, fast, and cheap.

good, fast, cheap

Kriens says you cannot have all three, and it is dumb to try and sell SOA with all three, because it is just against the law of nature. This seems like some practical advice. So I Googled “good fast cheap” and found post written way back in 2003 by David J. Anderson , author of Agile Management for Software Engineers. Anderson says that according to Built to Last,

…companies which are built to last do not accept the “The Tyranny of the OR” but instead embrace “The Genius of the AND”. These business simply refuse to accept that it is not possible to do it all [good and fast and cheap].

So which is it?

The other talk at Interop that I liked was Ross Mayfield of SocialText and Andrew McAfee, associate professor, Harvard Business School on Web 2.0 for Enterprise.
Ross MayfieldThey talk about the adoption of web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise: enterprise 2.0, such as using tagging, blogs, and wikis. Mayfield gives a great explanation on what a wiki is and how you might be able to explain it to your company.
Andrew McAfee
But then at 39:20 McAfee notes the cultural barrier that can exist in enterprise wiki adoption verses e-mail blasts/thread following. The emergent behavior of projects like Wikipedia proves that this model works, but only some people contribute. It is a damn shame to hear this as I try to champion this type of system at the company I work at. He closes the talk saying that he does not know what the solution is yet. Well, at least the “MySpace generation” will thrive in this area when they come of age. I suppose getting rid of the top-down culture is a start. Is web 2.0 an advantage or a cost center in the enterprise? For the ones who think it is a cost and they cannot adapt, they will not survive. For the ones that think of it as an advantage, they will survive.

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One Response to Getting Real with SOA and the Corporate Culture Barriers to Enterprise 2.0

  1. Richard says:

    I do not accept that people building technology products in 2007 and beyond have to buy into Kriens philosophy. I subscribe to the Anderson thinking that, you can have it good fast and cheap. Companies like SugarCRM (where I work) have proven that an application developed on Web 2.0 paradigms using Open Standards and Open Source concepts definitely has wings. Don’t let the old way of thinking keep you in 1996. It’s a brave new world out there and the best companies of the future know it.

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