This blog will try to cover how small business fits into the evolving networked world. Yes, that sounds a bit vague so I’ve tried to explain some areas I want to focus on below:
Software as a Service: It’s important for small business to understand how companies like Salesforce.com are using the internet as a medium to deliver business applications and services. SaaS is enabling small businesses to leverage information technology that only the big boys could afford just a few years ago. But while it is cheap, SaaS is also becoming more robust with a greater variety of applications being made available as hosted services through Saas providers like Salesforce.com (AppExchange), GrandCentral, and StrikeIron. Especially for small business, we are entering a time where locally installed software may not be needed outside of a few desktop applications –and even those desktop applications may be supplanted by network applications as the web experience becomes richer.
The Ever Richer Web Experience: If you’ve dragged a mouse across a map on Google Maps you’ll understand why I’m excited about the increasingly richer web experience. The web is moving beyond its roots as the World Wide Wait. I never would have thought I’d be able to completely replace a rich desktop interface with a web application but I haven’t touched Microsoft Mappoint since I first used Google Maps. Google Maps was a real milestone but there’s so much more to come, and I want to help small businesses understand how the latest developments in the web experience can be leveraged.
A Web built on Open Standards: Open standards have played a vital role in the evolution of the internet and will continue to be important as the web evolves. In addition to the web services API’s which enable software services like SalesForce, open standards also give us technologies that develop organically (from the bottom up) –solutions that are developed by the people and for the people. As we move along open standards will continue to be important to the evolution of the internet, but also important in how we experience the web. In order to leverage (or simply manage) all the information that surrounds us in a networked world, we must be able to customize how we experience it. Open standards and open technologies will help us to do this.
Continuous Computing: I didn’t coin the term but I think it’s useful in explaining a world where a broadband internet connection is nearly omnipresent. From our desktops, to our PDA’s and mobile devices, a broadband internet cloud will soon follow us everywhere we go. I believe bottum-up innovation based on open standards will bring us solutions and technologies to help us manage this deluge of information coming at us. Already open technologies like RSS are showing us that information inflows can be tailored to suit our individual styles and schedules so that we are more productive rather than simply overwhelmed. Flexible and open products like the Firefox browser, which leverage bottum-up innovation, are proving to be crucial tools for customizing the way we interface with our networked world.
And in addition to these areas there will be frequent sidetracks into stuff that grabs my attention along the way. Whatever I write about I’ll do my best to keep it interesting and explain things in a way that even the non-technical person can understand.
In reading and blogging a lot over the past few years, I’d have to say that a good blog starts with a blog author who is naturally interested in what they are writing about. While I may be blogging for AllBusiness.com, I am truly interested in the subject I’m covering. I have a lot yet left to learn and in satisfying my curiosity I hope I can write an interesting blog. All comments are appreciated and will be read.