Like many of you, I was glad to see 2008 come to a close. We ended the year deep into of one of the worst recessions in our history with financial market meltdowns, auto industry bailouts and unemployment on the rise. Let's hope we're near the bottom.
But what does this mean for Enterprise 2.0? The recession is certainly very bad news for the less-capitalized companies out there trying to get their Enterprise 2.0 offerings off the ground. Good companies, good technologies and good people will fall victim to this recession not for lack of a good product, but because they can''t get their balance sheets into the black quickly enough or find the additional funding to stay afloat. We all know people who have been directly affected by this and it''s truly a shame. But I''m an optimist and also anxious to see if these times will offer a silver lining for our burgeoning Enterprise 2.0 market. Will the economic crisis be good for Enterprise 2.0 adoption as companies seek out technology solutions to drive greater workforce efficiency?
A few weeks back Susan Scrupski compared the Enterprise 2.0 movement to past enterprise application overhauls including Business Process Reengineering, Outsourcing and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Susan makes the point that while one could argue the degree of their success as technology solutions, these efforts created new markets that helped the technology industry ride out challenging times. Will Enterprise 2.0 growth be similarly fueled by economic trouble? I''m already seeing evidence of this with our Enterprise 2.0 Conference. In December we wrapped up our "Call for Papers" for speaker consideration. I was shocked to see that the number of submissions to our 2009 conference were nearly double that of 2008. Maybe people are just hungry for visibility. Or perhaps the increased interest reflects the success of past conferences. While I think both of those are true, I also think this growth is evidence that companies need to do more with less, find workforce efficiencies and make their businesses more competitive. Businesses will look to Enterprise 2.0 solutions and concepts as a means to do just that.
From all of us at TechWeb, l would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. May 2009 bring you good health, much happiness and plenty of Enterprise 2.0 prosperity.