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Leverage Service Orientation to Take IT to the Next Level

Service Orient or Doom, by ZapThink analysts Ron Schmelzer and Jason Bloomberg, was published this spring. We recently caught up with Schmelzer.

Tell me about the book.
It is a practical how-to for the business side to understand how to leverage service orientation. Service orientation is not new technology per se, but really a new approach toward building IT systems and organizations that allow the company to be more flexible.

How is a lack of flexibility a problem?
When you have some major change that happens to a company -- let's say a merger or some new business requirement -- IT prevents the company from moving as fast as the business wants it to move.

Midsized companies spend 70% to 80% of their budget maintaining their existing IT systems. If they could spend maybe only 40% of their budget on maintenance and 30% on architecture, leaving the rest to be spent on innovation, then we [could] finally make some progress.

What about the "doom" part of the title?
We're basically hitting the wall with IT. Companies that want to take IT to the next level have to really take a more service-oriented approach to their IT, or they risk being passed by companies that do.

Anne McCrory is editorial director of CIO Decisions and the CIO Decisions conference. Write to her at

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