As we have discussed in previous entries, the Web services movement lays the foundation for an economic shift from verticaltohorizontal on a vast and dramatic scale. So it was interesting to hear HP CEO Carly Fiorina's recent take on this topic at theOracleWorld conference.
"Value in this era of technology is delivered horizontally. Not in vertical silos," she explained. "The '80s and the '90s was the era in which value was created with vertical organizations and technology was implemented vertically. Vertically by division, by department, by application, by process. Content was connected to very specific devices or infrastructures were connected to very specific applications. But stand-alone islands of technology no longer drive sufficient value. And you can look in any industry, any part of government or society and what everyone is talking about is the requirement for silos to begin to interact and interoperate. Silos can't interact and interoperate unless the technology does. And so today, it's about making a heterogenous world work together and speak a common language. It's about connecting up what was not connected before. And this is not just about networking devices. It's about networking businesses and companies and employees and suppliersto customers. And getting those silos to talk to each other. It is now about horizontal value creation, not vertical."
Fiorina then goes on to apply this concept, quite specifically, to service-oriented IT: "You have to increase the business value of IT by delivering it as a service to the enterprise. That means you have to have a complete view of your whole IT environment -- from business processes to applications to infrastructure and the tools to manage and control the whole environment in real-time...The answer to these challenges is a service-oriented environment that is tightly and dynamically tied to business requirements. That is managed as a single, globally distributed resource. That is powered by modular, standards-based components. And that draws on virtualized systems that can scale up or down to meet shifting business demands."