I am struck by the differences in approach between formal and informal information systems and related technology. While each "camp" and its zealous advocates often compete for attention within our organizations, in practice they often overlap in addressing practical business problems. It seems to me that a mix of "best of breed" enterprise solutions can be drawn from both these "worlds."
By formal, I mean powerful, structured IT systems such as Microsoft SharePoint, or comparable COTS products from IBM, Oracle and others. By informal, I refer to the unstructured and rapidly evolving area of open source collaboration and content management systems, as well as such proprietary products as Google Apps/Wave, LinkedIn and Facebook.
This spring an excellent speaker (Tony Byrne) from CMS Wire addressed a D.C. Web Managers Roundtable about the continuum between more powerful, structured, and difficult to use proprietary systems and less powerful, more informal and more user-friendly social media and other apps.
A mirror to this technology debate is found in information management processes: