Call it the circle of IT life. Web services was designed with external e-business in mind, but became an internal integration strategy. SOA is seen as an extension of this internal enablement, but eventually demands that we look beyond the walls of the enterprise.
John Hagel III, a former McKinsey consultant, and John Seely Brown, former chief scientist of Xerox, will talk about Web services, SOA, and the impact of technology on competitiveness at Supernova 2005, a conference of technologists and business leaders to be held in San Francisco later this month.
Kevin Werbach, a University of Penn Wharton School professor and Supernova organizer, spoke to Hagel and Brown about the challenges and opportunities of service-oriented architectures.
"One of the limitations we have seen of service-oriented architectures is that most of the investment and thinking around this has been very enterprise-centric," Hagel says. But most exceptions emerge "in the business processes that span multiple enterprises -- in supply-chain activities or customer relationship management, or the coordination of distribution channels or channel partners."
Hagel goes on to note that SOA development, then, "requires a very different lens for viewing IT architectures. It has to start from the outside and moves back into the enterprise."
"This contrasts with the traditional IT architecture, which typically moves from the glass house out to the edge of the enterprise and ultimately, if you're lucky, beyond the enterprise," he points out. However, a service-oriented approach to IT can "dramatically" expand opportunities for strategic advantage. This is due to the ability "to help people build capabilities more rapidly through more productive handling of exception-generating conditions," Hagel says.
The interview in its entirety can be found on the Wharton Website.