What is a portal? Web software that provides relevant access to web assets in a highly personalized fashion to target users and groups.
The portal is dead, long live the portal. It is just the tool to provide personalized views to information. Enterprise Portals are serving as an entry point to mashups such as JackBe's Presto platform.
The "MyPortal" will enter the Enterprise and will be a portal service aggregator.
Portals are being decomposed to extend the life of legacy portal technology.
Users and workers already engage with multiple portals. We adapt to the portal. The portals are meta-stovepipes. They only aggregate data within their own environment.
A portal fabric or portal mesh will emerge through inter-operability efforts. What Gartner is really talking about but not verbalizing is an evolution of OpenSocial. I want to take my profile and background information and contacts between social networks and portals.
Directory, security and Identity management will be critical services provided by and for Portals.
I am thinking that the evolution of widget-capable Wikis represent a potential MyPortal platform.
Approximately 30% of the audience have MyYahoo and iGoogle pages.
The five touchpoints for portals:
- User profiles
Federated Identity Management is a critical capability and OpenID is an increasingly serious player in this area. I believe this because one lesson from the Internet is "Simple is best."
60% of enterprise portals have been implemented as replacements for Intranets.
Corporate blogs have not been implemented often on internal enterprise sites. More often used in Business to Consumer roles. On the other hand Wikis supplement portals and are not competing against portals.
Wiki and blogs benefit the enterprise more than email because the content can be shared and made searchable.
Enterprise Mashups will be integrated by 50% of enterprises by 2011. They will typically be integrated into portals. Enterprise Mashups are open standard, user defined platforms. Typically consumer and enterprise data is merged. For example, a customer list overlaid on a Google map.
Adobe Flex and Air, Mozilla Prism and Microsoft Silverlight will confuse the landscape by driving the use of rich clients. Up until now the browser-based thin web client has been the predominant delivery method.
At the same time expect portals to de-compose and effectively deliver portal functionality as services.
The portal of the future will:
- Be aggregation friendly
- support end-user mashups
- integrate social networking
- part of the overall enterprise user experience
- extend the life of legacy web applications as portal services extend to non-portal applications.
The last item is probably where the best Return on Investment will be found.
Finally, as you evolve a portal strategy you need to understand the needs of the digital native.