Renaud: Like any new technology, things always start inside because some pieces are not quite done yet. Certainly, until recently, Web services security wasnt really baked. I think the base is really there, allowing you to do a lot of stuff in environments where youre not necessarily securefor example, behind the firewall, and thats where a lot of the new stuff is started. There are some point solutions that allow you to extend out, but to get the truly fully standardized, high-level features like security, like reliability, I think were seeing a lot of progress there. In fact, we will be working with IBM and Microsoft specifically to put specifications out that will get those features out to market quickly and effectively. I think the message to the enterprise and to the CIO is that the specifications are there, the implementations are following shortly behind and it behooves people to start thinking about how theyre going to be using [Web services].Charney: I would want to make sure that they understand that XML and Web services are becoming the language of business and that deciding not to invest and go in that direction would be similar to deciding not to invest in having a telephone number for your business or even a Web site for your business. Ultimately, its a belief that customers will find you, businesses will work with youit will become an expected way of communicating and interfacing with your businesses. Thats just step one. Looking ahead, I think its important to understand the opportunity for differentiation, and while theres a lot of debate in the industry these days that IT doesnt matterits simply a utility, mine is the same as yours is the same as anyone elsesat least from a Microsoft perspective, we firmly believe that IT is a source of differentiation, competitive advantage, and that the companies that recognize that and that can leverage Web services as a model for providing unique services to their customers and their partners will be uniquely situated as the economy starts to improve. Norsworthy: Id tell them this doesnt require a revolutionthis can be an evolution. Bjork: The other thing I would add is that if theyre not thinking about investing in XML Web services today, they should just go and look in their environment. Within the next six to 18 months, I can almost guarantee you that generally 100 percent of all enterprises will have a Web service-enabled platform somewhere in their enterprise. And what will that platform do for them that their existing IT base does not? Bjork: It will give them the capability to publish to their business partners functionality within their enterprise that they couldnt before. Web services gives them the capability to repurpose the competitive advantage of their IT assets. Renaud: The message would be simply, think of when you develop new applications, when you support your business, think of development and integration as having the single most complexity. Think of integrationboth with your existing internal assets and with your partners and your businesses out thereas something that is becoming an order of magnitude cheaper, and think about what kind of business opportunities that opens up that werent affordable before.
If you got a chance to buttonhole a CEO or a CTO in the elevator, what would you want to say to them about Web services?