The business world is changing...Facebook style

Enterprise applications must interweave with how people actually communicate: email, IM, VoIP, and...Facebook.

My CTO just received word of a bug that had been found by an important customer of ours and resolved earlier today...via Facebook. Another business partner looked up my profile (in Facebook) to figure out how best to interact with me in a contract negotiation. (He stopped short of humming The Smiths but that might have helped his cause.) :-) Also today, an old friend from my master's program sent me a message (on Facebook) to ask about my company's content management solution for his organization.

Perhaps this is why Forrester's Kyle McNabb writes:

Face it, without an ability to dictate what technology their employees use to get their jobs done, organizations have to shift their ECM (enterprise content management) focus from repositories to figuring out how to extend the security and management of content beyond the repository, and onto the content asset. You'll soon have to work on answering questions of 'How do we make sure our people can work in Facebook, but not take contracts in there that may put us at risk?'

Or what about 'How can we let our engineers work in Second Life, but make sure they don't bring in sensitive designs that may get lost or stolen in this unsecured environment?' ECM has to do more than just provide the repository, it has to provide some of the answers for how do you effectively manage the asset, regardless of where it lives.

Forrester is talking about content management, but the same sort of thing applies to CRM, ERP, etc. I still have trouble with the Facebook user interface (cluttered, loud), but the point is that enterprise applications need to interweave with how people actually communicate: email, IM, phone (VoIP), and...Facebook.


Disclosure: I manage the Americas for Alfresco.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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