Mashups Take on the Enterprise

After the success in the consumer space, the adoption of mashups — Web applications that combine data from multiple sources into a single integrated tool — in corporate enterprises has taken off.

According to Forrester Research, businesspeople who are accustomed to using Web 2.0 and social computing technologies at home are leveraging tools on the Internet to drive the same capabilities at work.

Whether they use tools designed for Internet-based amateur mashups or those by IBM or competing vendors, those in many corporate functions seek to merge CRM (customer relationship management), ERP (enterprise resource planning) or even less sophisticated Excel spreadsheets and flat files with disparate data sources for more efficiency and speed in meeting the expectations of their roles within the organization.

Forrester projects that in the next five years, vendors will be raking in $700 million in the sales of mashup platforms. Those already in the space likely represent only the first wave of marketers.
 
“Business users can create financial mashups that combine stock-ticker data with news feeds and other market data, or they can combine contact information from Salesforce.com with invoices from their billing applications,” said Mike Gualtieri, senior analyst at Forrester. “Mashups are the product of a little creative effort on the part of business users — not the product of a lot of technical heavy lifting on the part of IT professionals.”

Forrester defines three basic types of enterprise mashups: those that present once-siloed data in a single format or environment; those that…


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