Web services require your development team to think in terms of objects. That's not a problem if they're already thinking that way. But chances are, you've got some work to do with your more traditional developers.

First, choose an architect—your chief technology officer, or someone from your chief architect's office—who has substantial credibility with your development teams. Have that person serve as the focal point for your Web services initiatives. Second, give people the resources they need to become educated about the standards, then have them spend time with your developers to make sure they understand this new approach to providing services.

Next, use a small team of developers who can get excited about the potential of Web services to produce real value for the company, such as speeding computer and software code changes so that technologists at your company can respond faster to business needs. But don't expect this to happen overnight. "Web services bring about a new way of thinking about how you build applications," says Deloitte's Danylyszyn. And new ways of thinking often bring change, which is rarely easy to accomplish.

The potential value, say analysts and users, is increased flexibility for the organization—just don't expect it to be completely painless.

Ask your CTO:

How would you manage the cultural changes required to get developers to start thinking of their applications as services?

Tell your legacy systems developers:

This is a great chance to better integrate your systems into applications.

Ask your software vendors:

How easy can you make this migration process for us?

This article was originally published on 04-01-2003
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