The Channel logo


By | Phil Manchester 1st November 2007 16:20

Web 2.0 - carry on, don't lose your job

Been there, seen that

The IT industry is masterful at recycling old concepts under new names. Web 2.0's transition from the mass market to the enterprise is a case in point.

Every aspect of Web 2.0 has its historic parallel. Software as a service (SaaS) providers used to be called time-sharing bureaus. Wikis were content management systems and blogging used to be online publishing. Even social networking has its origins in Douglas Englebart's work on collaborative working at the Augmentation Research Center (ARC).

It is surprising then that Web 2.0's move to the enterprise has become the latest pantomime villain set to steal IT workers' jobs.

The argument runs that a combination of SaaS, wikis, blogging and mash up software will put application builders out of work as "business" people learn to build and manage their own applications. AJAX, not outsourcing, is the new enemy.

This year certainly saw established middleware and tools companies - IBM, BEA Systems, Oracle and Serena Software to name just four - chant the mantra of business people building their own applications in order to sound fashionable and sell more of their software.

However, there are mixed signals on the true progress of Web 2.0 in the enterprise market.

Web 2.0 - a kit bag of terms wrapping in Enterprise 2.0 and Office 2.0 - does appear to be finding its way into business according to reports here and here.

When not regaling us with stories of jobs lost to SaaS enterprise resource planning (ERP), though, InformationWeek highlights the challenges facing enterprise adoption of Web 2.0 once companies begin rolling them out and realizing their limitations.

Unfortunately for the Web 2.0 evangelists, it seems Web 2.0 applications and services must fit in with - not replace - companies' existing software, they must integrate with other new Web 2.0 software and services, they are in need of customization, and - oh - those social networking sites you've heard so much about seem to be fed more by vendors with a vested interest in running the service than an end user community actually donating code.

One thing is clear. If developers' jobs are under threat it is unlikely to be from a bagful of old technologies under a new name.®

comment icon Read 9 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe