From boardrooms to IT planning meetings, there is a wave of interest in the promise of Web services. It is a compelling promise: the prospect of leveraging Web technologies in new ways to realize an automated exchange of information in real time and across widely disparate applications. The business case supporting Web services certainly hits the right notes - automation will reduce human error; costs will decline precipitously; efficiency will accelerate. Additionally, new service bridges will spring up to link not only business partners, suppliers and customers, but also applications within the enterprise that have never been able to share information. That's a pretty good deal, and it's getting executive attention.
However, woven across the tapestry of benefits is a singular issue with searing consequences for organizations that elect to adopt a Web services initiative without properly understanding its strategic dependency: the quality of the underlying data.
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