Forrester Research founder and chief executive officer George Colony has proclaimed that web services are due for a "technology thunderstorm".
Colony, who was speaking at the ICT World Forum, a conference preceding the CeBIT technology tradeshow in Hanover, predicted the storm would have web services at the core, spawning the "XInternet," an executable and extended Internet, and "organic IT", easily linkable IT systems.
"Web services are not the web and not services, but internet middleware enabling you to link to customers, partners and operating groups," he added.
The XInternet is an internet that does not send back "dead pages" when a user makes a request, but sends an executable that allows a user to interact with a web site. For example, when a user looks for information on how to implement a new human resources procedure, what comes back are implementation and training tools.
"The web is dead and will be replaced by an executable architecture," Colony said.
Today about 500 million devices are connected to the internet, but by the end of the decade there would be billions of connected devices, including cars, phones and many other electronic devices.
Organic IT will replace today's fragmented IT infrastructure inside companies with connected environment. "Organic IT is cheaper, shareable and flexible," Colony said.
Linux, the open-source operating system, is a strong Organic IT technology and companies can be organic on the software side today, with other technologies in networking and storage emerging. Colony also cited IBM's autonomic computing initiative as a good example.
Companies have to take advantage of the storm as recession receded, Colony said, and warned companies not to make the same mistake many did at the height of the boom, where they bought technology, did not adapt to it and then letting it sit unused, something Forrester calls "naked technology".
"If you inject technology into your company without [changing] processes and how you organise, you inject naked technology," Colony said.
"In 2000, you had a lot of companies injecting CRM software, but they did not change the way they work. They got lower return on investment, endangered good process, brought the CFO [chief financial officer] out of his cave, poisoned the delicate CEO-technology relationship, and shortened the life expectancy of the CIO [chief information officer]."
Colony also told IT staff, marketers and business people within a company have to work together to make IT investments pay off.
"It is a collaboration game between the T-shirts, the turtlenecks and the ties. This is very hard to do and it will almost always take the CEO saying: You will collaborate."