A friend of mine is in the recruiting business, and his specialty is software professionals. I’m sure you can imagine how hectic his life is these days. We were having lunch last week, and he was describing the way the market for software professionals is changing. It was only a year ago that SAP and PeopleSoft developers, along with COBOL programmers, were in insatiable demand. But today, he explained, it is demand for "Internet architects" that far exceeds the supply.

The definition of an "Internet architect" is evolving as the Internet and the e-business market evolves. But, two responsibilities of the position are clear. First and foremost, businesses are looking for someone to define business models that can take advantage of the Internet. The business purpose of the Internet is not self-evident, and businesses are finding that there are many different e-business models. Online sales is only one. Internet architects are expected to define the business functions of the Internet on a business-by-business basis.

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