Web services will drive new levels of collaboration between companies in existing value chains as well as enable new relationships with trading
Reintroduce the business flexibility that Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) and other large, enterprise applications removed through rigid business process definition and proprietary application interfaces.
End the debate about IT alignment by allowing the idea of Just-In-Time (JIT), or the implementation of new applications as the business needs them without the implementation and integration lag that
Extend CRM, ERP, and other large, monolithic software applications to add new business functions or capabilities in response to changing business needs.
Provide connections to other trading partners for collaborative processes such as forecasting and supply chain planning, transaction management, and others.
Help organizations manage change given their existing
Revolutionize the corporate computing model for software-producing companies, for software-consuming companies, for hardware and infrastructure companies, and for services companies.
Specifically, Web services promise to deliver the following high-level benefits to organizations:
Support application integration internally and externally, across the firewall.
Provide easier B2B collaboration between business partners.
Transition software deployment models from big-bang, high-footprint implementations to just-in-time applications that are appropriate to the business challenge being addressed. This is the beginning of the idea of Just-in-Time Information Technology based on Web services. Software rental models and grid computing are simply specific
Reduce costs of software procurement, deployment, and integration.
Increase business and technology agility by deploying loosely
One question about the Internet is why it was not robust enough for true B2B collaboration, as well as for complex processes that span multiple Web sites or multiple organizations for Web transactions. The Internet
Lack of standards for B2B integration and B2B automation
Manual searching of Web content by browsers versus registry-based applications that find one another and auto-invoke (this result is a future but possible scenario)
Emerging standards such as XML have already become
Internally-focused application procurement and deployment models
Of all these, the most difficult to
However, in today’s business world, collaboration with trading partners is fast becoming the rule, not the exception. Companies understand that significant benefits can be realized through better cooperation and information sharing with their customers and suppliers. Their existing application portfolios, however, are not built for collaboration across the firewall with outside agencies. Web services offer a way to bridge the gap and overcome the legacy of internally-focused IT architectures and application portfolios.
Web services will enable business collaboration at the process level. Process-level collaboration requires new software architected for collaboration across corporate firewalls. Web services will be the foundation for creating these new applications. Business Process Collaboration (BPC), augmented by electronic means over the Internet, has wide-reaching implications for the ways in which business will be performed. Many organizations have not had the discipline or
We can simply define collaboration as cooperation to achieve a particular goal or goals. Collaboration involves teaming, sometimes with
The brutal shakeout of dot-coms, further complicated by the economic
ERP-centric architectures are based on the architectural philosophy of internal operations efficiency. Building a single view of internal operations based around a centralized database of the organization allows visibility of financial metrics, inventory levels, customer information, orders, and more, all in real-time. This capability is powerful, despite some of the issues that
Rigid architectures freeze corporate operations into a fixed,
Complex architecture means changing one module often necessitates changes in many other modules
Large software footprint and module inflexibility result in long, expensive implementation cycles that, when completed, are already
Internal orientation and architecture of ERP systems limits the ability to engage in collaboration with outside trading partners. This situation is primarily due to proprietary application interfaces and business process inflexibility forced onto a business by the ERP architecture
Streamlining internal operations and allowing financial management of an organization’s operations was a significant benefit of ERP systems. However, times have changed for all firms. Inward-focused systems and business processes can only deliver limited value in a world dominated by a desire, and more importantly a
There has been a dramatic shift from the internal focus of ERP systems to collaboration with outside trading partners. This shift from internal operations to collaborative interaction with external trading partners has challenged the business processes and the IT application portfolio of most organizations. The shift to the front for CRM and other e-Business applications has placed an unprecedented demand on IT systems, and the need to securely share internal,
As you will see from the Web services adoption model—introduced in the following section—pragmatic uses of Web services will carry us for the foreseeable future. As the standards and technology progress, more sophisticated Web services capabilities will emerge.