I was recently discussing with a Business Objects report designer regarding a customer's requirement for Ad-Hoc Reports. The Ad-Hoc Reports are targeted for Business Users, who are not really IT savvy. That scenario flashed me an interesting thought on the lines of web 2.0.
If the business-users/Operational users are comfortable in composing 'Ad-Hoc Reports' on their own, why not 'Ad-Hoc Solutions'?. 'Ad-HoC solutions'= 'Mashups'.
If the business users are provided a platform for composing their own mashups, I am sure they would love to compose their own solutions. The million dollar question is - How easy the mashup platform would be for the end users to compose their own solutions?
But beyond Technical limitations, I see the cultural factors play a stronger role in rolling-out Mashup platforms
- Need for educating/informing the business users regarding the new 'Empowerment' of composing apps on their own
- The comfort factor of the new empowerment from all quarters including the security department
- Joint Governance of mashups created by both Business IT
Whether a user constructs a data mashup or a business process mashup, the need for a mashup will typically arise from the respective business user's curiosity/ambition and deeper commitment towards his day-to-day operations. One can correlate this scenario to a well- known situation - How can we make the business users interested towards using Business Intelligence solutions? There is no easy way to sell BI solutions. Similarly there is no easy way to sell web 2.0 or Mashups as well.
They are not just IT solutions. These are solutions have deeper impact in a person's motivation, organization structure and culture.