I promise to write more about this in the months to come, and show how it relates to all of Burton Group's coverage, but here's the skinny version.
Post-modern IT assumes that bits of functionality and data are spread all over. Some of it is commodity, some of it is strategic. Some of it is built and/or operated by the enterprise, some of it is consumed by the enterprise from service providers. The tension comes from this: should we attempt to corral these fragments into order, or should we capitalize on their emergent properties? How much does the concept of post-modern IT challenge the command and control structures of most enterprises?
As companies work to re-imagine their business models in response to the recession, costs will be driven down by finding the right balance of fragments to combine from inside and outside. This dynamic is driving the accelerated interest in the cloud, SaaS, and related concepts.
Taking this a step further, the unified field naturally connecting all these fragments disappears (if it ever existed at all). Unification happens in logical overlays that serve specific purposes or points of view, but these overlays do not change the nature of the underlying fragments.
OK. I got that out of my system. Off to Vegas and MIX09, so the opportunity for serious philosophical thought is quickly disappearing.