In the last couple of years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of web apps available. There are apps that can fulfill almost any business need: project management, collaboration, to-do lists, accounting, CRM, social networking, file sharing…The list goes on. With these web apps comes a problem, though — the “technology patchwork quilt.” Many web apps solve only one particular problem, so businesses end up using a lot of different apps to fulfill all their needs. As Aliza pointed out recently, this can cause problems for businesses, as the patchwork quilt requires training staff on multiple apps and encouraging use. Another big problem is that business data tends to end up in silos (not shared between apps), limiting its usefulness.
In a post over on GigaOM Pro called “Enterprise 2.0: Web Apps and the Patchwork Quilt Problem,” (subscription required), I take a detailed look at the causes of the patchwork quilt problem, and how web apps need to change to address it. To succeed, web apps need to provide more holistic solutions to business needs to stand out in this increasingly crowded market.