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Web Services: The RCA Phono Jack of Internet Computing

In this article, Bradley defines the true meaning and purpose of Web Services, as well as the impact they will have on IT in the very near future.

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By: Bradley Brown
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February 16, 2003
  1. · Web Services: The RCA Phono Jack of Internet Computing
  2. · The Difference
  3. · The Impact of Web Services
  4. · Conclusion

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Web Services: The RCA Phono Jack of Internet Computing - The Difference
(Page 2 of 4 )

The most significant difference between the phono-jack revolution and the swelling Web Services revolution is that enterprise technology, unlike solid-state stereo systems, already exists as components. What's more is developers already can buy or build software "jacks" to link these components. The problem is the process hasn't been nearly as easy as popping a phono-jack into a socket. Web Services will fix that.

And this fix is overdue. IT infrastructure costs too much today. Organizations spend $49 billion on servers each year. Yet, the average server utilization rate is only 60%.

Why? Because the typical enterprise architecture carries too many components -- applications, databases, etc. -- and they don't communicate easily. Even as components are improved, managing this Byzantine cluster of enterprise computing grows more and more difficult to manage. Still, many software vendors continue to deliver warmed-over versions of code from the '90s, bloated with disregarded features, rather than refined with innovations and efficiencies. It's not just a buzz-phrase; business users and IT managers really do want "less-is-more" technology. And if there's any proof, it's the shrinking IT budgets of the last few years.

Web Services serves the needs of business users and IT managers by dissolving some boundaries between the two roles. Users will become business process coordinators, connecting disparate technologies across the Internet without investing excessive time and money in software training. Instead of trying to keep pace with the nuts and bolts of the latest technology, their focus will be sharpening functional management skills.

As for IT managers, they will orchestrate a constellation of inexpensive, redundant components that automatically share and manage enterprise computing resources (software, processors, storage and networks) across all applications within a data center. Like users, IT managers will become valued more for their strategic and tactical business skills than for their ability to tweak arcane code, or police budgets and consultants tied to interminable implementations.
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