Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mashups and Shadow IT, the next wave

Just a few days ago I decided the shift focus a bit more to mashups and shadow IT by publishing a posting tittled About another view on SOA and selling train tickets. I explained the huge benefits that mashups even can have for an aged company that has a primary business process of driving trains, since the 19th century. And it was very easy to come up with a mashup example that could potentially lead to new business revenues for this ancient business at almost zero investment.

To me mashups and shadow IT are the ineluctable consequences of the evolvement of the Internet. It is just there and it will grow in features, pervasiveness and influence. It is the next wave that companies must be prepared for by service enabling their internals to get connected. The future will be services based business or no business.

And now, not more than a few days later, Thomas Erl publishes two articles on the same subject in his famous and well respected SOA Magazine.


One article, being the first of a series of three, explains - as the tittle says - how mashups brings SOA to the people. I think the tittle could better be: "Bringing the People to SOA" instead of "Bringing SOA to the People". It is a matter of perspective. I prefer the outside-in perspective in stead of inside-out (IMHO the authors are a bit conservative on this aspect).

The benefits of mashups are "speed", "scale", and "scope": faster answers, improved resource use, new opportunities. Forrester Research predicts that mashups will be a $682 million industry in the next 5 years (Oliver Young, Forrester Research, April 18, 2008).

I am looking forward to part two of the series, where the authors will explore how enterprise mashups relate to and build upon SOA.

Shadow IT

The other article explains shadow IT as being edge applications in a Service-Oriented Enterprise. The term "shadow IT" was coined for systems built without corporate approval inside business units, departments and whole subsidiaries. Shadow IT can drive innovation and effectiveness without hindering larger IT evolution. The reality is shadow IT is not going away.


I really love this stuff. It connects my 3 decades of professional enterprise IT experiences with the organic growing public domain IT infrastructures that are globally and nearly free available to individuals. It is the hinge where IT led by business changes to business led by IT. And I love to be part of this game that will change our world forever.

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