The Virtual-Worlds Consortium for Innovation and Learning and SRI Consulting Business Intelligence today released the results of an online survey conducted early in March 2008 titled "Virtual Worlds and Collaborative Work: Survey Results." The organization surveyed 81 people who are active users of virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) about the use of virtual worlds for collaborative work. Most survey respondents (about 85%) were in North America; the rest were in Europe and Asia. Fewer than 20% of respondents are using virtual worlds mostly for pleasure and fun; 58% have a strong interest in how these technologies can serve for work. Some of the key findings:
Sometimes ideas for blog posts flow out of everyday conversations with colleagues. I want to thank Leslie Owens and Matt Brown for stimulating the following thought train.
The external competitive environment is the cloud where opportunities and threats hang, sometimes latent, sometimes looming. So it only makes sense that enterprises will outsource more of the competitive surveillance to the cloud of external resources, such as analyst firms, third-party market intelligence subscription feeds, social networking, Web 2.0, etc.
Boris Evelson's latest post on free BI got me thinking about another type of freedom.
Boris commented on the newly announced beta of a gratis, lightweight, Panorama-powered BI/OLAP-engine add-on to Google's hosted apps. You know, whenever anybody mentions BI/OLAP, I think of analytical databases, hence data warehousing (DW). And when my thoughts turn to DW, I often wonder when these dimensional data stores will be let loose from their earthly tethers and begin to float free in the SaaS cloud. This is no blue-sky speculation, but rather an inevitability in a world shifting to subscription-based SaaS for on-demand delivery of all infrastructure and application services. Where database services are concerned, this trend even has a name in popular circulation: Database 2.0 (aka "cloud databases").