Working Papers (Archive)

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These papers are now slightly dated, but at the time they were the result of my collaboration with John Seely Brown and others to research the evolving interplay between new generations of information technology (especially Web services and distributed service architectures) and new approaches to business strategy, operations and organization. Some of our work has been published (see above), but the published material is only the tip of the iceberg. It also requires relatively long lead-times to reach the audience. For this reason, we are providing access to key working papers that provide more background regarding our thinking.

From Push to Pull – Emerging Models for Mobilizing Resources (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Makes the case that institutions confront a profound shift in how they mobilize resources. In more stable times, push approaches have worked well to produce increasing efficiency – anticipate where and when resources will be required and organize to make sure that these resources are available at the appropriate place and time. These approaches are now challenged by a fundamentally different approach – pull platforms designed to help distributed participants access resources where and when they need them. Lean manufacturing was an early, partial step in this direction, but much more fully developed models are emerging in arenas as diverse as global process networks for apparel, motorcycles and electronics equipment as well as media, software and education. Pull platforms not only provide greater flexibility, they are also becoming essential for innovation, learning and capability building on a global scale. This working paper offers a preview of some of the research for our next book.

Capturing the Real Value of Offshoring in Asia (PDF) By John Hagel
Warns that most companies are missing the real value of offshoring. Focused primarily on cost savings through wage arbitrage, these companies don’t realize that offshoring provides access to distinctive capabilities. By mastering new approaches to building high performing organizations, aggressive companies can harness offshoring capabilities and rapidly expand their performance impact across a broader range of business activities. This is an extraordinarily dynamic arena. Substantial value can be created, but considerable economic value can be destroyed as well. Offshoring is a strategic, as well as an operational, issue. In the quest for near-term cost reduction, we have barely begun to grapple with the strategic issues.

The Agile Dance of Architectures – Reframing IT Enabled Business Opportunity (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
In contrast to the prevailing conventional wisdom that IT provides diminishing strategic advantage, we assert that quite the opposite is true: IT offers the potential of increasing strategic advantage. New strategic architectures and IT architectures are emerging and intersecting in ways that create significant business opportunity.  Senior managers must actively manage both of these architectures in order to overcome organizational inertia and create the institutional capability required to create strategic advantage.

Overview of Working Paper Series (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
This is probably the best place for a new reader to start before diving into individual Working Papers below. It places each of the Working Papers into a broader context and will help readers to navigate to find the Working Papers most appropriate for their needs.

Break On Through to the Other Side: A Missing Link in Redefining the Enterprise (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Web services technology will have a subversive impact. Businesses will rapidly adopt the technology because of a very pragmatic near-term value proposition: with modest investment and relatively short lead-times it can generate tangible operating cost and asset savings. The emergence and evolution of a robust service grid will be key to accelerating adoption of the technology in mission critical business processes. Once adopted, the technology creates the potential for a powerful new growth platform that will ultimately redefine the enterprise and generate significant economic value for those who harness these growth platforms.

The Secret to Creating Value from Web Services Today: Start Simply (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Dennis Layton-Rodin
How should businesses proceed to get the most economic value from Web services technology? The key is to start simply, proceed incrementally and learn from earlier initiatives.

Service Grids: The Missing Link in Web Services (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
This working paper focuses attention on a key missing link in Web services – the need for robust service grids consisting of diverse enabling services required to deliver mission critical functionality for application services. It makes the case that the emergence of service grids will be a key catalyst for broader adoption of Web services. The paper also speculates on possible trajectories for the emergence and evolution of service grids as well as implications for business value creation.

Some Security Considerations for Service Grids (PDF) By Martin Milani and John Seely Brown
Executives appropriately express significant concerns about security as they proceed with the adoption of Web services. The technology will need to adopt much more robust security functionality to meet the needs of mission critical business processes. The good news is that Web services technology provides a foundation for a much more flexible and robust approach to security than previous generations of technology.

Control versus Trust: Mastering a Different Management Approach (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Business management tends to focus on control to ensure results. Process manuals specify in detail the activities required. Management monitors activities at a granular level to anticipate potential problems. As companies find they must coordinate activities across multiple enterprises and provide more flexibility, these control approaches prove less helpful. Increasingly, management will need to master a different, trust-based approach. They will need to accelerate the building of trust and in particular become much more adept at the use of incentives to motivate appropriate action.

Orchestrating Business Processes – Harnessing the Value of Web Services Technology (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Web services technology enables a much more flexible, loosely coupled technology architecture. To effectively create economic value from this technology, companies will need to develop very different management approaches. Today, we rely on hard-wired management approaches because that was all our technology allowed. Now, we have an opportunity to adopt a much more flexible, loosely coupled approach to business process management. Those who master this new approach will generate significant wealth.

Orchestrating Loosely Coupled Business Processes: The Secret to Successful Collaboration (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Scott Durchslag
Business collaboration remains abstract and irrelevant unless it is firmly anchored in specific business processes. Coordination of business processes across multiple enterprises requires a different approach to business process management. Loosely coupled business processes require new orchestration skills.

Creation Nets:  Harnessing the Potential of Open Innovation (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Connecting Globalization & Innovation:  Some Contrarian Perspectives (Davos) (PDF) By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Does IT Matter? (PDF) By John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Thomas A. Stewart

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