Servitized Enterprises for Distributed Collaborative Commerce

Servitized Enterprises for Distributed Collaborative Commerce

Haluk Demirkan, James C. Spohrer
DOI: 10.4018/jssmet.2010010105
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Agility and innovation are essential for survival in today’s business world. Mergers and acquisitions, new regulations, rapidly changing technology, increasing competition and heightened customer expectations mean companies must become more responsive to changing demands. This move to agility through innovation can be possible with the service oriented solutions offered by Collaborative Servitized Enterprises (CSE). In this article, the authors demonstrate the architecture of a CSE and develop a multidisciplinary research program, incorporating a more science-based approach to the effective, scalable, secure, and knowledge-driven design and development of collaborative servitized enterprises, to address some of today’s commoditization lead issues. The authors’ primary objective is to lay the foundation of an integrated service culture, which is characterized by a cross-disciplinary attitude that fulfills customers’ needs. A secondary attitude within that culture is an awareness of the complexities associated with service tradeoff decision-making, requiring a careful balance of value, risk, cost, and quality of service.
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The Internet has significantly affected the manner in which most organizations conduct business (Porter, 2001). The recent convergence of information and communication technology (ICT) design, execution, storage and transmission is creating new opportunities and also new challenges. Within a single organization, data, software and infrastructure services can be highly distributed and deployed among multiple computing platforms, e.g. software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, cloud computing. Most organizations must also compete on a global scale, participating in collaborative commerce by conducting electronic business through contact with distributed service providers (Luo & Seyedian, 2003). A multi-organizational manufacturing supply chain provides an example of this type of collaboration, creating a virtual organization where business is conducted through distributed systems integration with complex, high-volume, transactional (operational) and decision support (data warehousing) activities that must be concerned about requirements such as agility, security, auditability, availability and service level agreements (Foster et al., 2001; Singh & Huhns, 2004). Other examples of distributed applications can be found in banking, credit card processing, health care, and homeland security, requiring either material flow, information flow, knowledge flow, and/or cash flow between multiple organizations (Schoenbachler & Gordon, 2002).

The servitization of processes, architectures and technologies (e.g. service-oriented organizations, service-oriented architectures, service-oriented computing and service-oriented infrastructures) have evolved as a new paradigm for enterprise systems development, supporting intra-enterprise and inter-enterprise collaboration through access to autonomous, implementation-independent interfaces to data, software and infrastructure services (Demirkan, 2008). In this paradigm, the most commonly used term is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). In this article, we use the definition of service-oriented architecture from the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) (Oasis, 2006): “A paradigm for organizing and utilizing distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains. It provides a uniform means to offer, discover, interact with and use capabilities to produce desired effects consistent with measurable preconditions and expectations.” Service-oriented architecture is not limited to just Web services, or technology or technical infrastructure either (Brittenham et al., 2007). Instead, it is about a new way of thinking about the value of commoditization, reuse and information, and creates business value (Bieberstein et al., 2005; Bardhan et al., 2010).

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