The Strategic Value of Web Services

This McKinsey Quarterly Reader contains several articles focused on web services. In “Edging into Web services”, John Hagel points out that too much value lies at the fringes of organizations, where they interact with their partners, to leave the problem of uiversal connectivity unsolved. He argues that the technology will take off first at the connections among collaborating companies and then after proving its worth there it will be brought deep within the organization.

In “Loosening up: How process networks unlock the power of specialization,” Hagel joins John Seeley Brown and Scott Durchslag to offer examples of companies that have built effective networks relying on low-maintenance connections.

If you still don’t quite understand what Web services are or why they matter, read the brief nontechnical primer “When computers learn to talk.” You’ll also find a short glossary, which should help you avoid a dear-in-the-headlights moment when you discuss the topic with others.

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