John Hagel

independent consultant and author

IT Strategies
51 minutes, 11.7mb, recorded 2003-09-07
John Hagel III may be more frequently associated with the dot-com era boom—and bust—than any other consultant. He spent 18 years at McKinsey & Company where he founded and led the e-commerce practice from 1993-2000, and he co-wrote two of the most influential and controversial dot-com era books, Net Gain (published in 1997) and Net Worth (published in 1999).

In his latest book, Out of the Box—Strategies for Achieving Profits Today and Growth Tomorrow Through Web Services, Hagel is once again on the leading edge, evangelizing the benefits of value-chain integration.

In this IT Conversation, John explains why he considers web services to be a "deceptively disruptive technology" and why he's an advocate for web-services strategies that focus on the edge of the enterprise rather than lower-return internal integration projects. "Companies are losing opportunities by not thinking systematically about the technology," he says.

Why aren't we seeing more of these multi-party integration projects? In part because of a flaw in current trends in CIO incentive structures. CIOs and IT mangers, he says, are expected to "avoid risk, and keep things running." It's the equivalent, he says, of the corporate counsel. "CIOs and IT managers don't get rewarded for major new business-value created, but they often get fired if things blow up."

And vendors? John gives them low marks for doing "an awful job of marketing web services." They suffer from what John refers to as “the narcotic of the mega-sale."

John also responds to Nick Carr's IT Doesn't Matter article earlier this year in Harvard Business Review. John says the article "plays to the mood of the executive suite today. It reinforces all their worst instincts."

This free podcast is from our Behind the Mic series.