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Out of the Box:
Managers today are understandably skeptical of the promises of new technologies. During the 1990s, vendors of both enterprise applications and Internet platforms promised enormous benefits. Companies invested large sums, but the benefits either failed to materialize, or came at a high price. Managers sacrificed flexibility and struggled to collaborate with business partners - a crippling disadvantage in today's marketplace. Now, leading business strategist John Hagel III has a refreshing message for managers burned by over-hyped technologies, yet pressured to find innovative ways to deliver more value with fewer resources. He focuses on a new generation of technology - known as Web services. This technology connects existing IT platforms in more automated and flexible ways, leading to much lower operating costs. The premise is practical and devoid of "change the world" promises. That very pragmatism, says Hagel, will drive enterprises to adopt it.In this book, he provides a clear view of the business implications of Web services: its distinct capabilities, its power to deliver near-term profits, and its potential to drive long-term growth. Drawing from the experiences of pioneering adopters, Hagel shows how Web services will enable companies of all sizes to: realize bottom-line savings quickly with modest investment; leverage investments in existing applications and create more flexibility; target specific areas for near-term cost reduction; establish-or leave-business relationships fluidly and inexpensively; and, create leveraged growth platforms for long-term competitiveness.A landmark book for CEOs, strategists, and IT managers, "Out of the Box" addresses near-term cost concerns and requirements for future success. As it discusses Web services, it provides deep insights into business strategy. At its core, this book tackles the most fundamental business issue facing managers today: how to continue to create value as competition intensifies. It also outlines innovative approaches to business process management and organization. John Hagel III is a business consultant based in Silicon Valley, and is coauthor of two best-selling books, "Net Gain and Net Worth". He has served as a senior executive with various technology companies and spent sixteen years as a Partner at McKinsey & Company, Inc. [via]