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Why Web 2.0 Is About to Shift the Enterprise

By - October 16, 2006

What? Battelle writing about the enterprise? Well, don’t get used to it. But I do have to say, this example from Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, is really, really instructive about how Big Business can learn from Web 2.0. He started with a question in an earlier post – whither the datacenter?, in short. Big companies and the entrenched CXOs within them change slowly, and only when pushed, shoved, and forced by trends too big to ignore. I think Jonathan has found an example of such a trend in this anecdote from his latest entry:

I was talking to the CIO of a large financial institution last week. He told me he was in the midst of building out two new datacenters, spending $250,000,000 (yes, a quarter of a billon) on one, more than that on the other. He was beyond frustrated (as I’m sure was his CFO).

I asked him how long it was going to take, he said nearly three years. Years.

And then Dave Douglas reminded me that two to three years is longer than it took for YouTube to incorporate, build out their infrastructure, scale their business to serve the entire planet – and get sold.

Companies are really spending a quarter BILLION dollars on datacenter implementations that take three YEARS to execute? My God. On what planet?

I know, I know, sometimes YouTube goes down, and if you are running the NYSE, that ain’t an option. But man, one might hope you could figure out a way to failsafe with less than $250,000,000…..

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4 thoughts on “Why Web 2.0 Is About to Shift the Enterprise

  1. John, your post is thought provoking but you should be prepared for a flotilla of complaints that, by comparing corporate data centers that have to support multitudes of very complex and hard to replace applications with YouTube, you are comparing apples and oranges.

  2. Teddie says:

    John you can do better than that.

    I’m siding with Dennis on this one I don’t see the comparison whatsoever between YouTube and my bank account.

    Now if you’d gone into a discussion about how lessons from Web 2.0 (cough splutter…horrible term) were being used to exploit the power of communities within the enterprise, improved flexible working etc then that would be interesting and more accurate given your title “Why Web 2.0 Is About to Shift the Enterprise”.

  3. yeah, you are right, the enterprise isn’t that interesting ;-)

  4. Robin Harris says:

    What this points out is that the current enterprise infrastructure model is broken, not that Web 2.0 is the answer. Applications need cycles, bandwidth and storage. Each of these has enterprise products engineered and priced to be bulletproof. What Google and Amazon have demonstrated is that it is possible to create bulletproof infrastructures using commodity parts. That is what CIO’s need to push for.

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