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Seeking wisdom of crowds… April 30, 2007

Posted by Amit Chatterjee in General Enterprise Musings, GRC, Uncategorized.

As with most first time bloggers, I was assuming that Web 2.0 would simplify my life.  The reality is that the process i went through to make this blog actually appear was easily classified as a nightmare.  

 Everything from logging into a hosting account, to managing to identify the right “blog” service, determining how best to work with the blogosphere, simply was too taxing —  clearly too much consumer choice has baffled me and cost me 8 weeks from inception of idea to actual execution.

I was completely prepared to abandon this effort, but my company, SAP had a conference last week (SAPPHIRE in Atlanta), and I met some other bloggers, and realized that blogging was the equivalent of talk radio for software.  I was impressed by the number of bloggers, and also the varient in quality and approach to make their noise (voice) heard.  Much like the days of listening to political pundits or even that recent shock DJ that got fired, each blog will undoubtedly share their point of view.   Being a man with several points of view, this medium seems a natural home for me.

But what is different than talk radio, is that listener, or in this case the reader, has significant power.  the “wisdom” does not end with my blog, but is rather the beginning of the refinement or rejection of a germinating idea that the source blog put forth.  Hence I am even more excited about getting my ideas out there so they can be torn apart and then rebuilt, I want to engage the blogosphere for their wisdom on what is going on, and yes, amazingly even advice on what to do better.

At the same time, I look forward to sharing (read “expounding upon”) my insights from time spent in enterprise software.  I have been in the space in 1997 in some form or another, and have been around the transformation of this industry.  Even at an industry leader like SAP, I held numerous roles.  I was part of the team that launched NetWeaver into the market, then head of strategy for product and technology at SAP.   Also, I founded the SAP GRC business unit within SAP.  I have been directly involved in the SAP GRC business since we announced the business unit last year.  At some point, I am sure I will get into a biography or some story about myself, but for now, figure I spent most of my life either in or around the enterprise aspect of software.

Net net, I believe that enterprise software continues to work.   

So practically, that means I dont subscribe to the point that new ideas mean value, nor do I believe that old ideas need to be there forever (I break enough glass).  I believe despite excitement, new ideas usually don’t equate equivalent impact to old ideas that generate shareholder value (thus lack of uptake).  While Web 2.0 will have an effect and is good for consumers (overall a very positive outcome)– right now the impact to an enterprise is not business ready. 

Essentially, it is the equivalent of a REIT company explaining to its shareholders that its future growth is tied to its success in 2nd Life (play the game).  No one is saying that cannot happen, but clearly you would be “investing at the early stages.” 

So what I hope to establish with those that choose to read this, is an opportunity to provide a business implication focused view of the technology and provide readers with an understanding of how and where to invest in this curve.

I’ll post my first set of thoughts on Enterprise software and GRC in a few days.  Look forward to the exchange.