How does a service-oriented approach to business affect the design of
A current business trend is organizing software products and personnel
around services, rather than organizing around software products. For
example, ADP <http://www.adp.com> provides many software products, but
rather than focusing on their products, they focus on their services and let
the products support those services.
I am trying to understand how a service-oriented approach to business
affects the design of products and I would like to discuss a few assertions:
* Software products are a delivery mechanism for services.
The services provided by a company are paramount; without the services, the
software products are meaningless. The software products simply make the
consumption of those services faster and easier.
* A difference exists between service-based software products and
utility-based software products.
Service-based software products (such as those provided by ADP) deliver
services, while utility-based products (such as MS Word) provide
house-keeping functions. This distinction is important because service-based
products must not only focus on the services they deliver, but they must
also collaborate with other products that support those underlying services.
A traditional utility-based (silo) approach to software design can lead to
disparate products with duplicated and dissimilar features.
* It is the Interaction Designers responsibility to help define services.
If a business's services are not well defined then the quality of their
service-based software is reduced. Without a thorough understanding of the
underlying services and who those services target, it is not possible to
appropriately define software behavior or disseminate features between
products. It is therefore necessary for designers to help define the
services (especially if no on else is picking up the reins) before designing
Do these assertions hold water? Can they be improved? Are there more? Please
let me know your thoughts.