Office 2.0 in a Web 2.0 world

Well I had this whole post written yesterday but thanks to Blogger it was lost. It was good too, most likely the best post ever written. Obviously this one is not going to be as good. But we will be without Blogger by the end of the weekend as we launch a completely redesigned getanewbrowser with wordpress as our platform.

Moving on, I stumbled on an excellently written documentation of one person’s migration to a web service only productivity software model. In essence he no longer uses desktop applications such as Microsoft Office for productivity but rather web based, often web 2.0, services. He calls it Office 2.0 (i know, i hate the name too).

“A new programming model for web-based user interfaces called AJAX and a killer application for it, “Gmail? are now bringing new life to this concept. The idea is pretty simple: use a generic web browser and a set of online services to provide all the functionality needed by a computer user, removing the need for any application to be installed on the computer itself. I call it Office 2.0.”

He goes on in a series of posts explaining his move form singular desktop applications, such as Micorosoft Word, to their web service alternative, such as Writely. This is a wonderful resource for anyone getting acquainted with web 2.0, or more naturally ‘software as a service’.

As I have said before the ‘Web 2.0’ is not about fancy Javascript, AJAX, and bright Fisher-Price colors. The Web 2.0, much like AJAX, are old ideas coming into fruition.

In an introduction to his Office 2.0 posts on IT Redux, Ismael Ghalimi recognizes this fact.

“Office 2.0 is the Network Computer Redux.

In its original incarnation circa 1996, the concept for a Network Computer (NC) did not really make sense. It offered a fraction of the functionality provided by a regular Personal Computer (PC), at a similar purchase price. But most importantly, nobody really cared. The web was just starting and the promoters of this new platform (Oracle and Sun Microsystems) found it difficult to make a case for it beyond their common distaste for anything Microsoft.”

I finally got around to reading the latest issue of CIO Insight last night and noticed they had just published a very similar article to the one I am writing now, except targeted to CIO’s. You can read the article ‘The Internet Reloaded – Web 2.0 Reality Check‘ online and I recommend it even if you are not a CIO.

This article discusses the adoption of Web 2.0 (software as service) on an enterprise scale and the hurdles it has to overtake to get to that point. They point that enterprise level systems of Web 2.0 nature are nearly three years out. What’s the biggest hurdle? Data Security. The other major hurdle is getting existing systems, such as ERP systems, to integrate with web based services. Without a solid integration plan enterprises will be far less willing to migrate to a service based architecture. Why is this such a big jump? Data Integrity sans integration and migration.

CIO Insight has been having excellent coverage of Web 2.0 with rare content. They don’t care about the latest AJAX calendar app or classified systems. Sure these applications are important as Web 2.0 grows into a mainstream ‘platform’. But it won’t ever be as important as it will when it is adopted on an enterprise level. When this occurs the IT culture inside large organizations will go through a dramatic change just as the development of these technologies has done.

If you are interested in following Ismael’s lead, he offers an excellent list of services he uses, their alternatives, and reviews of each. Check out his Office 2.0 Setup.

IT|Redux ? Office 2.0

CIO Insight | The Internet Reloaded

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