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Friday, 01 February 2008 05:46

Facing the challenges of enterprise 2.0

A new organisation has been formed to address the huge security challenges presented by the application of Web 2.0 technologies and principles to enterprise web sites for communications with customers, staff and business partners.
WorkLight, the developer of server-based software claimed to bring a secure and highly-personalised Web 2.0 computing experience to the enterprise, has formed the Secure Enterprise 2.0 Forum  to "promote awareness, industry standards, best practices, and interoperability issues related to the introduction of consumer technology into the workplace."

According to its website the forum is "comprised of top executives at Global Fortune 500 companies that are ready to address the security challenges posed by Web 2.0 technologies, such as wikis, blogs, RSS, widgets and gadgets, personalised homepages, social networks and social bookmarking, which are becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise."

Few of these Fortune 500 companies have been named , but WorkLight is spot on in highlighting some of the key issues facing enterprises as they seek to exploit the benefits of Enterprise 2.0, or are forced to do so by competition, customer or internal pressures.

As Steve Hodgkinson, Ovum's IT research director in Australia/NZ commented recently: "Enthusiasts see an inevitable flow of web 2.0 style wikis, blogs, profiles, tagging and social networking behaviours from the consumer realm into the enterprise. Enterprise 2.0 will be introduced into the enterprise by net-generation employees - whether the CIO agrees or not - and will act as a catalyst for increased information sharing, collaboration and innovation."

He added: "New dangers, however, include network penetration; authentication of the identity of contributors; assuring data ownership; accidental disclosure of sensitive data; inadvertent publication of unauthorised corporate positions; system proliferation and integration headaches; problems archiving and versioning information; increased risk of identity theft; and also general time wasting by employees engaging in non-work related social networking."

Butler Group - which produced a report in mid 2007 entitled 'Rich Web Applications: The business benefits of web-enabled applications development' - said: "The drivers behind consumer led Web 2.0 are also relevant to businesses: these concepts are being transferred to what is called Enterprise Web 2.0...The move within enterprises to SOA and internal Web services creates opportunities for Intranet mashups, exploiting re-use to good effect and allowing business power users to rapidly respond to business opportunities. With Enterprise Web 2.0 power users can transform and re-combine internal business processes in new ways."

WorkLight also argues that Web 2.0 technologies are already present in the enterprise, both with and without the blessing of corporate management and IT departments. "As the workforce becomes younger and tech-savvy, grassroots adoption of widgets and gadgets, RSS, personalised homepages, social networks, instant messaging, blogs and wikis are becoming standard practice within organisations worldwide."

The Forum's debut event was held 30 January in London. Founding members named include Chris Swan, director, IT research & development, Credit Suisse; John Meakin, group head of information security, Standard Chartered Bank; Stephen Bonner, head of information risk management at "a global financial services organisation"; Simon Riggs, global head of IT security with Reuters; Graeme Burnett, "top security executive at a global investment management firm" AND Andrew Yeomans, "a top security expert at a leading financial institution and a member of the Jericho Forum."

End-user organisations, vendors, integrators, consultants, analysts and other interested parties are invited to join the Forum. Contact: David Lavenda'¨VP marketing and product strategy, WorkLight '¨dal@myWorkLight.com

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