Daily Archives: August 10, 2007

What is Enterprise 2.0?

I love it when someone does a useful, instructive job explaining terms we take for granted here in technology. Lee Lefever nailed “Wikis in Plain English” with his video. Scott Gavin explains the potentially trendy term Enterprise 2.0 simply. Although Andrew McAfee is without doubt the authoritative author on the subject of Enterprise 2.0, Scott hit the basics.

Scott even said it was “social software within the firewall” which was refreshing to see with all the blather that everything must be hosted. The fact is most enterprises want something as vital as the content on a wiki behind the firewall. Not all surely, but the lion’s share.

What still leaves me wanting about everyone’s definition of Enterprise 2.0 is that it misses an important point: Enterprise 2.0 is just another natural evolution towards lighter weight software. Doesn’t matter if it hosted, behind the firewall, social or not. Companies embraced the open source movement and software-as-a-service because they were fed up with traditional enterprise software. Lightweight software is just another movement serving this same frustration and need.

Lightweight software serves a gap in the enterprise which Jonathan Nolen articulated in an interview:

“We think there’s a huge middle ground between open source and enterprise software that hasn’t been addressed—lightweight software,” Nolen said.

This movement to lighter weight software is broader than the typical definitions of Enterprise 2.0 software. It’s about customers wanting easy to use, practical, easy to install (or hosted) software that is far less expensive and that does not entail an arduous, painful purchasing process. It’s should be simple, straightforward and easy to buy. In fact, it’s not about sales in our opinion at Atlassian.

This is why some of us believe that Enterprise 2.0 is not just about social software. It’s about a fundamental shift in the complexity and cost of software.