Monday, January 6, 2014

The Era of Service on Demand

I touched the concept of Service on Demand in mid 90s when I worked for IBM. Some of our folks had worked on TV on Demand as well back then. This is becoming popular in real life now after 20 years.  
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the foundation to enable the service on demand.  The basic concept of SOA is illustrated in the following figure:

Now, Internet is playing the service registry role that connects service providers with service consumers by the help from search engine. The service providers and service consumers can be both organizations and individuals. The evolution of this service model has greatly challenged the infrastructures of our society; affect both business enterprises and our daily lives.
Currently, our social infrastructures are formed to organize the resources and service providers into business entities. People, as skilled resources or service providers, work for business entities to take advantages from business infrastructures provided as common services for effective production with collective benefits. Businesses are responsible in selling products to their consumers.  Therefore, businesses are the service brokers in this picture. With business brokerage service function being available on Internet, the traditional business structure and operation model will be challenged. We have seen the trend that more people are leaving big business organizations, and begin to work as individual via Internet.

At the meantime, Internet provides an environment for service organically growth, where the best will survive and mediocre will disappear naturally along time. This is the ecosystem of service on demand.