Companies should begin implementing Web services applications to enhance productivity, but they also must take steps to avoid immature technologies and be aware of vendor hype, states Forester Research Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.- based analysis firm.

Web services are designed to make it easier for firms to collaborate internally and with business partners by interconnecting software systems regardless of the platform they're run on. Organizations initially should employ basic 'read-only" services that meet their internal and partner needs, Forrester says. In the meantime, firms should keep an eye on evolving Web services standards to take advantage of more advanced capabilities as they emerge, Forrester notes in its new "Start Using Web Services Now" study.

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