Lots of chatter out there about Google Chrome, the integration of social functionality into the desktop, the rebirth of the “network as the computer” movement and so on. The tectonic shifts in what we compute, how and why continue.
While the elephants like Google and Facebook play I wonder what it all means? I‘m not a big predictor, more of a watcher and learner but one thing is clear. Social interactions are now a major force shaping our software, hardware and networks. I would love to be able to go back 20 years and tell the engineers that their kids’ desire to gossip with her friends will rule your day! Ha, who would have thought?
For business it means that technology decisions will impact how “social” they can be, or to put it another way how social a business wants to be will drive many of their technology choices. If you are a CIO, you have to understand that you now have a new criteria to consider when making choices. Take project management for example. If you are setting up a new project do you use Microsoft Project and Share Point, or 37 Signals Basecamp and Google Docs? Do you update the team via status reports, or a blog and RSS feed? These choices are important because they not only define the capabilities that will be extended to the team, they also define how the team will work.
The bottom line is that we now have a new category on our requirements checklist besides speed, reliability, security and all the old classics.