Web Services and IT Services

Main Researchers: 
Andrea Stern
Research Areas: 
Electronically Mediated Commerce
A service-oriented approach to organisational computing and information systems. Web services increasingly attract both popular and research interest. They are novel in their techniques of automated discovery and orchestration and in their dynamic integration of standardised application modules. Their XML-L standard based communication techniques and of the underlying service oriented architecture (SOA) , they give organisations the potential to increase flexibility and agility and represent a radical departure from traditional monolithic custom-developed applications and specialised client interfaces. The standardisation embodied in the model of web services model structures the environment in which they operate, and this is a key to their interoperability. A challenge for the development of web services however, is whether the model can be extended to encompass more complex areas of IT service provision beyond that structure, into areas in less structured environments. For such services, conditions of service are negotiated and customised, outcomes are not easydifficult to control or predict, services may be linked in hierarchies of related services and complex service management and maintenance issues may arise. One An approach to this challenge is to see Web services as a specific category of what could be broadly referred to as IT services. This broader class of IT service, like web services, is characterised by a service view of IT in contrast to the application, activity, or product view. Such a view shifts the focus from managing ownership of IT infrastructure and applications to managing negotiation and delivery of effective IT services. By contextualising web services in this way and examining the relevance to web services of the different models of IT services that emerge, it may be possible to inform and enhance the development of the web services model to tackle other areas of more complex endeavours in IT services.