Enterprise Web Mashups, Still in “Proceed With Caution” Phase…

I like to think of myself as a technology enthusiast (even my esteemed former colleague at the 451 Group Rachel Chalmers labeled me as such once)…so I do try out new stuff and am less afraid than others of linking these new fangled gadgets into my “production environment” (which is of course just my work laptop).

But when I booted up my laptop today, I was surprised to see that my Outlook was being more than its usual finicky self. After a few abortive attempts to load it up, I finally got an error message noting that my Out Twit add-in was causing the fatal error and needed to be disabled.

Problem solved, right?

Well, for some consumer/business web mashups, there may be more than a simple error message that prevents productivity. Processes can become broken, access to data lost or limited, and simply put – the business can suffer real damage.

I do think there is a great potential value to bringing in the consumer web into the business world. For example, I was looking for the job title of someone speaking at an upcoming CRM Acceleration – I simply could not get it through Google or even through my Outlook (yes, some people do not have elaborate email signatures – go figure) – but in 3 seconds I had the full title via LinkedIn. So, there is obvious value having a LinkedIn or Facebook integration into a system like SugarCRM.

So, some integrations are going to be safer than others for various reasons. Some mashups will not inherently involve process integration, others will be with more stable and established web tools. Either way, a little caution and foresight will go a long way.