The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending April 15, 2002



Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
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Web Services Strategies

When to Dive into Web Services. I'm developing a methodology for determining the optimal time at which to begin the implementation of a web-service application. Specifically, I'm trying to understand how the continued evolution and maturation of the underlying technologies and standards affects timing decisions. Click the headline to see this work-in-progress essay. Here's a sample of the pictorial representation:

Also read Julian Bond's insightful comments on my essay. He's right on, and you'll see improvements inspired by him and others in the next edition. Thanks to Dave Winer and Scott Loftesness for their comments on an earlier version.
Posted Sunday, April 14, 2002 10:53:19 PM

Another Hit From the Stencil Group. The Laws of Evolution: A Pragmatic Analysis of the Emerging Web Services Market is the best whitepaper yet on service-oriented architectures and web services. A 40-page must-read.
Posted Tuesday, April 09, 2002 10:20:47 PM

More Good Reads. I spent much of a three-day weekend catching up on some web-services related reading. Here are the highlights:

  • Stemming the Software Spending Spree. My favorite of the week, by Chuck Phillips, a top analyst at Morgan Stanley. "Spending 100 million to install SAP and another $50 million two years later to clean up isn't fun." Regarding approaches to application integration, "Web services: These aren't a realistic option yet." I love Chuck's writing style, too.
  • UBL: The Next Step for Global E-Commerce (PDF). "The lack of a standard for business documents is not due to a shortage of specifications but rather to an overabundance."
  • Web Services Infrastructures (PDF). The best part of Phil Wainewright's whitepaper is the section entitled, "Enterprises become ASPs," in which he explains that enterprises must deploy their composite applications in one of three infrastructure modes: self-hosted, self-managed; self-hosted, remote-managed; or private-label hosted.
  • Real Time Enterprises: A Continuous Migration Approach (PDF). This paper is most notable because of its co-author, Vinod Khosla, one of the most technical partners at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Vinod is on the board of Asera, where co-author Urugan Pal is Founding Engineer and Architect. The whitepaper is a bit of an Asera fluff piece, written in analyst-ese, but there are valuable nuggets if you're willing to mine for them. "We will recommend federation, not integration of applications, and a bias towards a more dynamic architecture."
Thanks to all who continue to send me links to good whitepapers and articles.
Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 10:30:35 AM

Patent Roadblocks to Web Services. "IBM and Microsoft not only own intellectual property within specific Web services protocols, but also have no intentions of relinquishing their IP rights to those protocols should they become standards. [...The] two companies are currently maintaining their rights to pursue a reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) licensing framework as opposed to a royalty-free-based framework. The RAND framework is widely acknowledged as the one that keeps a vendor's options open in terms of being able to charge content developers and Internet users a royalty for usage of relevant intellectual property." This is serious stuff that could substantially derail web services. [Source: Doc Searls]
Posted Sunday, April 14, 2002 6:42:56 AM

Microsoft Shelves Hailstorm. According to John Markoff in the New York Times, "Microsoft is now considering selling My Services to corporations in a traditional package form, rather than as a service." Also see the article by John Lettice at The Register.
Posted Thursday, April 11, 2002 4:53:47 AM 

Web Hosting Strategies

Caution: NAS, SAN Merge Ahead. Evan Koblentz writes about trends in the storage industry including the promise of SAN-style storage at NAS-style prices. My personal perspective is that the downturn in the tech economy means the SAN vendors can't sustain their outrageous pricing. Even cheaper, I'll still try to stay away from SAN unless it's the only solution that meets my clients' requirements.
Posted Monday, April 15, 2002 10:53:18 AM

Traders, Exchanges and Brokers. "If you've ever bought or sold a home, you've probably used a broker. But would you use a broker to buy colocation or managed services? Maybe you should." My April guest commentary for Internet World. [Archive of links to all of my guest editorials.]
Posted Monday, April 08, 2002 10:20:57 PM

Loudcloud's Cash Flow: My Bad. On April 8, I wrote, "As a reminder that the independent MSPs are still very fragile, Loudcloud last week suspended it's revenue guidance when a single major client, Atriax, closed up shop. Sounds like time to take a look at Loudcloud's cash flow." I went on to show that based on it's last quarterly report, Loudcloud would be out of cash by May 25.

Two days later, a friend forwarded me an analyst's report that contained very different numbers. Indeed, the analyst forecasted sufficient cash for Loudcloud to achieve profitability. How could that be? Well, I goofed. Turns out I was looking at financials for the quarter ending January 2001, rather than 2002! What a classic sloppy error on my part.
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:55:53 PM

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"...essential reading for anyone seeking to deploy this technology."

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