Veröffentlichungen von Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

Journal-Artikel (Peer Reviewed)

Schlosser, F., Beimborn, D., Weitzel, T., and Wagner, H. (2015)
Achieving Social Alignment between Business and IT - An Empirical Evaluation of the Efficacy of IT Governance Mechanisms
Journal of Information Technology 30, 119-135, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
How can firms improve the degree of social alignment between their business and IT units? Many years of research have shown the importance of business-IT alignment and its various facets, yet research on the efficacy of IT governance mechanisms to improve business-IT alignment is scarce. In this paper, we develop a model of social alignment at an operational level that considers the degree of social capital between an organization's business and IT units, IT personnel's business understanding, and a set of formal and informal IT governance mechanisms that drive the creation of social alignment and business value. Using survey data from 132 U.S. banks, we show that social alignment is driven to varying degrees by a broad variety of IT governance mechanisms ranging from top management support and IT representation on the executive board to joint IT planning and IS trainings, regular meeting cycles and liaison units. Our research contributes substantially to the practical demand on business-IT alignment research for an effective toolkit of IT governance mechanisms.

Moos, B., Wagner, H., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2015)
The Contagious Power of Innovativeness: How Different Corporate Partners Contribute to a Firm's Knowledge
International Journal of Innovation Management (19:4), article 1550042, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
As innovation is often created in networks, a company's business partners influence its innovative outcome. Although many studies investigate innovation networks as a means to explore and exploit external knowledge, virtually no research has focused on the characteristics of external partners - in particular their innovativeness. This study considers axial and lateral corporate partners and investigates the differential impact of the partners' innovativeness on a company's knowledge stocks (market, technological, organizational, process, and product knowledge). Drawing on the literature on inter-organizational networks and using survey data from the manufacturing industry, the results extend theory by revealing that not only relationships with partners but also their properties - partner innovativeness - are important for a company's knowledge stock. In essence our results suggest that the innovativeness of a firm's axial and lateral partners positively yet diversely influences its various knowledge stocks.

Zolper, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2014)
The effect of social network structures at the business/IT interface on IT application change effectiveness
Journal of Information Technology (29:2), p.148-169, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
The challenge of managing the relationship between a firm's business and IT in order to derive business value from IT is an important topic on researchers' and practitioners' agendas. The focus of most related research and management actions has been on the top management or project management levels. However, conflicts frequently arise within the line organization when applications are extended, enhanced, maintained, or otherwise changed operationally outside software development projects. This study focuses on the impact of relationships at the application-change level and strives to identify and explain favorable social structures for effective business/IT dialog at the operational level. We collected data in seven comprehensive case studies, including 88 interviews and corresponding surveys, and applied social network analysis to show that three social structures at the implementation level influence the degree to which IT applications are maintained and enhanced in line with business requirements: (1) interface actors connecting business and IT, (2) the relationships between interface actors and the corresponding unit, and (3) the relationships between interface actors and other employees in their unit. In three cases, less favorable structures are revealed that correspond to low application change effectiveness and software applications that do not meet business requirements. The other cases benefit from favorable social structures and thus enhance fulfillment of business requirements and result in higher IT business value. This paper contributes to IS research by helping to explain why companies may not provide favorable IT services despite favorable relationships at the top management level and successful application development projects.

Wagner, H., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2014)
How Social Capital among IT and Business Units Drives Operational Alignment and IT Business Value
Journal of Management Information Systems (31:1), p. 241-272, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
It is widely acknowledged that IT and business resources need to be well aligned to achieve organizational goals. Yet, year after year, chief information officers (CIOs) still name business-IT alignment a key challenge for IT executives. While alignment research has matured, we still lack a sound theoretical foundation for alignment. Transcending the predominantly strategic executive level focus, we develop a model of 'operational alignment' and IT business value that combines a social perspective of IT and business linkage with a view of interaction between business and IT at non-strategic levels, such as in daily business operations involving regular staff. Drawing on social capital theory to explain how alignment affects organizational performance, we examine why common suggestions like "communicate more" are insufficient to strengthen alignment and disclose how social capital between IT and business units drives alignment and ultimately IT business value. Empirical data from 136 firms confirms the profound impact of operational business-IT alignment, composed of social capital and business understanding of IT, on IT flexibility, IT utilization, and organizational performance. The results show that social capital theory is a useful theoretical foundation for understanding how business IT alignment works. The findings suggest that operational alignment is at least as important as strategic alignment for IT service quality, that managers need to focus on operational aspects of alignment beyond communication by fostering knowledge, trust and respect, and that IT utilization and flexibility are appropriate intermediate goals for business-IT alignment governance.

Zolper, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2013)
When the river leaves its bed: analyzing deviations between planned and actual interaction structures in IT change processes
Journal of Information Technology (18:4), p. 333-353, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
There is ample evidence of deviations between the actual and planned interaction structures between a firm's IT department and business units. Such deviations can hinder senior managers from governing their IT organizations effectively because they do not know how work really gets done. This paper develops an explanation for why actual structures differ from planned structures. Understanding this phenomenon is indispensable for managers to govern the real organization, to uphold compliance with important standards (e.g., ITIL, COBIT), to decide whether the formal or the actual organization is more effective, and, finally, to identify management actions that support the optimal structure. To develop this understanding, we analyze the interaction structures at the interface between firms' business units and IT units in four rich cases, using data from 56 interviews and 47 questionnaires, and applying qualitative methods and social network analysis, which give us deep insights into planned and actual interaction among employees. We test two different explanations for deviations of actual from planned interaction structures and find that boundary-spanning theory provides the dominant explanation for such deviations: Inclined to span the business/IT boundary most effectively, the actors involved deviate from planned structures especially when other structures offer better boundary-spanning potential, which is influenced primarily by cross-domain knowledge. In addition, relationships also play an important role. On the positive side, relationships provide opportunities for such deviations, while on the negative side, a conflict-laden relationship might hinder deviations even if they were advantageous.

Laumer, S., Beimborn, D., Maier, C., and Weinert, C. (2013)
Enterprise Content Management
Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE) (5:6), p. 449-452, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

Laumer, S., Beimborn, D., Maier, C., and Weinert, C. (2013)
WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK (55:6), p. 453-456, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

Joachim, N., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2013)
The Influence of SOA Governance Mechanisms on IT Flexibility and Service Reuse
The Journal of Strategic Information Systems (22:1), p. 86-101, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A )

View Abstract
While many firms have introduced SOA, only one in five have achieved anticipated benefits such as increased IT flexibility or reuse. Industry analysts assume that a lack of SOA governance is the main reason why SOA projects fail. Addressing the substantial research gap on SOA governance this paper theoretically and empirically investigates which SOA governance mechanisms are needed to achieve the benefits of SOA, such as increasing IT flexibility and reusing services. The proposed theoretical SOA governance model is evaluated using data from 81 SOA-using organizations. Overall, the results confirm the relevance of a variety of SOA governance mechanisms (structures, processes, and employees/relations), but at the same time, that IT infrastructure flexibility and service reuse are influenced by different mechanisms. Key governance mechanisms that show a strong effect on infrastructure flexibility are using standards, service management processes, educating employees, and IT/business communication while reuse can only be increased through service management, standards and qualification. Contrary to expectations, implementing new, dedicated decision-making bodies for SOA hampers organizations in achieving higher degrees of IT flexibility and reuse, and a firm is better off using existing IT decision-making bodies.

Moos, B., Beimborn, D., Wagner, H., and Weitzel, T. (2013)
The Role of Knowledge Management Systems for Innovation: An Absorptive Capacity Perspective
International Journal of Innovation Management (17:5), article 1359919, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
What is the role of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) for a firm's innovativeness and absorptive capacity (ACAP)? Research shows that a firm's capacity to acquire and utilize relevant knowledge, i.e., its absorptive capacity, is decisive for innovation success. We develop a theoretical model that links the availability and usage of KMS with a firm's ACAP and its organizational knowledge to explain its contribution for a firm's innovation success. Using data from 222 manufacturing firms we can show that the availability of a KMS in a firm affects its innovation success by contributing to its ACAP. Looking at the impact of different knowledge types on innovativeness, the results show that only technological knowledge is a substantial determinant of innovation success but not market knowledge.

von Stetten, A., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2012)
Analyzing and managing the impact of cultural behaviour patterns on social capital in multinational IT project teams - A case study approach
Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE) (4:3), p.137-151 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
This paper contributes to a better understanding and to mitigate negative consequences of cultural diversity in multinational IT project teams. Our research explores how culture-specific behaviours impact social capital among team members and how firms can manage the strains. In the existing IS culture literature, culture-specific behaviours are - if at all - traced back to single culture dimensions. In contrast, the approach proposed in this article goes one step further suggesting that it is necessary to combine several culture dimensions to better understand a certain culture-specific behaviour and consequently be able to better manage resulting relationship problems in multinational settings. Conducting exploratory case studies in six multinational IT projects, two exemplary cultural behaviour patterns (face maintenance in India and post-communism in the Czech Republic) are identified, and management actions to avoid project performance problems are derived. The results contribute to a better understanding and management of the negative impact of culturespecific behaviours in IT project teams and corroborate that research based on culture dimensions, such as those conceptualized by Hofstede or House et al., is valuable for understanding multi-country IS projects. The findings in particular suggest that aggregating these dimensions to cultural behaviour patterns improves their explanatory power and consequently the management's capability to mitigate the negative consequences of cultural diversity.

von Stetten, A., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2012)
Auswirkungen kulturspezifischer Verhaltensmuster auf das Sozialkapital in multinationalen IT-Projektteams - Ein Fallstudienansatz

View Abstract
Die vorliegende Forschungsarbeit hilft, negative Auswirkungen kultureller Unterschiede in multikulturellen IT-Projektteams besser verstehen und mittels geeigneter Managementmaßnahmen adressieren zu können. Es wird untersucht, wie sich kulturspezifische Verhaltensweisen auf das Sozialkapital multikultureller Teams auswirken und wie ein Unternehmen dadurch entstehende Spannungen besser bewältigen kann. Die bestehende Literatur, die sich mit den kulturellen Auswirkungen im Kontext von Informationssystemen beschäftigt, führt kulturspezifische Verhaltensweisen - wenn überhaupt - nur auf einzelne Kulturdimensionen zurück. Der in dieser Arbeit vorgeschlagene Ansatz geht dagegen einen Schritt weiter. Wir argumentieren, dass eine Kombination und Aggregation mehrerer Kulturdimensionen zu so genannten kulturellen Verhaltensmustern notwendig ist, um ein bestimmtes kulturspezifisches Verhalten besser verstehen und die sich daraus ergebenden Beziehungsprobleme in multikulturellen Szenarien in der Folge besser nachvollziehen und bewältigen zu können. Auf Basis von Fallstudien in sechs länderübergreifenden IT-Projekten werden zwei beispielhafte kulturspezifische Verhaltensmuster betrachtet (Gesichtswahrung in Indien und Post-Kommunismus in Tschechien). Zudem werden geeignete Managementmaßnahmen abgeleitet, die zur Vermeidung der sich in den Projekten ergebenden Probleme beitragen. Die gewonnenen Erkenntnisse fördern ein besseres Verständnis sowie das Management negativer Auswirkungen kulturspezifischen Verhaltens in IT-Projektteams und bestätigen, dass Forschung auf Basis bewährter Kulturdimensionen hierfür einen wichtigen Beitrag liefern kann.

Beimborn, D., Joachim, N., and Weitzel, T. (2012)
Do Service-Oriented IT Architectures facilitate Business Process Outsourcing? A Study in the German Service Industry
Journal of Business Economics (JBE) (82:4), p. 77-108 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
How does a firm's IT architecture affect its potential to outsource business processes? As Information Technology (IT) has become many firms' essential operational infrastructure or "backbone", we are interested in scrutinizing to what extent the kind of IT architecture affects a firm's boundaries or the plasticity of its boundaries. Focusing on the particular concept of service-oriented architectures (SOA), we concretely ask: How does SOA affect business process outsourcing potentials? Since SOA is widely expected to modularize the IT implementation of business processes, it should increase business process outsourcing (BPO) in terms of buying in the provision of single business functionalities. We develop and empirically evaluate a theoretical model that conceptualizes the relationship between SOA and BPO. Questionnaire data from 115 firms give first evidence that SOA facilitates BPO. By increasing IT modularity, SOA supports BPO by increasing sourcing flexibility and, in particular, operational benefits, while at the same time lowering financial risks and strategic risks, such as lock-in. Overall, however, firms see SOA-based BPO mainly in an operational context with low hidden costs and little strategic benefits.

Beimborn, D., Miletzki, T., and Wenzel, S. (2011)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Beimborn, D., Miletzki, T., and Wenzel, S. (2011)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE) (3:6), p. 381-384 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

Walentowitz, K. and Beimborn, D. (2011)
The Social Antecedents of Business/IT Alignment - Reviewing the Role of Social Network Structure in Alignment Research
International Journal on IT/Business Alignment and Governance (IJITBAG) (2:2), p. 15-32 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: k.R.)

View Abstract
Business/IT alignment is a major source of business value generated from IT and social structures at the interface between a firm's business and IT units are of vital importance to business/IT alignment. Yet, there is a substantial gap in understanding the nature of these social structures. Based on a literature review comprising all related articles published in the AIS Senior Scholars' Basket journals between January 2000 and August 2011, this paper identifies antecedents of alignment related to social network structure. These are translated into formal SNA concepts. The identification and formalization of social network structures allow IT governance to implement social engineering mechanisms influencing the social network structure, thus improve business/IT alignment and IT value. Examples for such translated arguments are high degree centrality of CIOs vis-à-vis other executives and strong ties in terms of cross-domain knowledge between CIOs and other executives. Finally, important avenues for future research are highlighted.

Beimborn, D. and Joachim, N. (2011)
The Joint Impact of Service-Oriented Architectures and Business Process Management on Business Process Quality: An Empirical Evaluation and Comparison
Information Systems and e-Business Management (9:3), p. 333-362, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: C)

View Abstract
What is the interplay between Business Process Management (BPM) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) in achieving high business process quality? In this paper, we empirically investigate the impact of both SOA and BPM on business process quality in terms of straight-through processing (STP), business-to-business integration, quality control, as well as standardization and consolidation of business processes. For the empirical evaluation of our model, we use the data of 157 German service firms. The results show that the SOA paradigm has still received rather low adoption rates in the industry. However, SOA, BPM, and related information technologies have a direct positive impact on business process quality and the analysis provides evidence for the complementarities of BPM and SOA since interaction effects between them have an additional significant impact on business process quality. Consequently, firms having adopted SOA can more effectively apply BPM.

Wagner, H., Blumenberg, S., and Beimborn, D. (2009)
Knowledge Transfer Processes in IT Outsourcing Relationships and their Impact on Shared Knowledge and Outsourcing Performance
International Journal of Information Management (29:5), p. 342-352 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: C)

View Abstract
What is the impact of specific knowledge-transfer processes on the level of shared knowledge and, in turn, on outsourcing performance in outsourcing relationships? Drawing on a series of case studies covering IT providers and banks, we investigate several applied knowledge-transfer processes dedicated to the transfer of explicit or tacit knowledge between outsourcing banks and their providers. We examine the differential influence of various types of knowledge transfer on shared knowledge between the parties and on the resulting outsourcing performance. Results depict the differential impact of various knowledge-transfer processes dedicated to the transfer of explicit, or tacit knowledge, respectively, on the development of shared knowledge. Interestingly, the combination of both knowledge-transfer processes dedicated to the transfer of explicit knowledge and those dedicated to the transfer of tacit knowledge proves to be most effective. Furthermore the results indicate that high levels of shared knowledge positively influence outsourcing performance. In addition to previous literature, we found transfer processes for explicit knowledge in an outsourcing context to consist of two dimensions: The content dimension, primarily focused on in literature, and the sender-receiver dimension of transfer processes which are rarely addressed in outsourcing literature. The content dimension embraces mechanisms such as trainings, SLAs and standards that define how content has to be interpreted, whereas the sender-receiver dimension of transfer processes of explicit knowledge defines explicit, documented interaction structures between parties.

Beck, R., Beimborn, D., Weitzel, T., and König, W. (2008)
Network effects as drivers of individual technology adoption: Analyzing adoption and diffusion of mobile communication services
Information Systems Frontiers (10:4), p. 415-429 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

Wüllenweber, K., Beimborn, D., Weitzel, T., and König, W. (2008)
The impact of process standardization on business process outsourcing success
Information Systems Frontiers (10:2), p. 211-224 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
What is the impact of business process standardization on BPO success? This paper argues that there is a direct impact of process standardization on BPO success, due to production cost economies, and also an indirect effect via improved contrac-tual and relational governance resulting from better monitoring opportunities and facilitated communication and coordination. This threefold impact of standardization on BPO success is empirically confirmed using data from 335 BPO ventures in 215 German banks.

Beimborn, D., Martin, S., and Franke, J. (2008)
Value Chain Crossing: Insights and Opportunities for Future Research
International Journal of Electronic Business (6:1), p. 93-109 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: C)

View Abstract
In this article, we present a research framework that tackles a promising area of e-Business largely neglected before, namely the lateral cooperation of firms from two different industries that interconnect their business processes by means of electronic integration. We refer to this kind of e-Business cooperation as "value chain crossing" and explore, as an exemplary application domain, the integration of financial processes in non-banks and financial service providers. To support our research proposal, we provide exploratory findings from an empirical survey accompanied by a series of case studies which indicate that research in this area of e-Business is worthwhile to be conducted. We identified empirical evidence for a large potential of value chain crossing but also found substantial inhibitors for the adoption of this idea.

Beimborn, D., Franke, J., Gomber, P., Wagner, H., and Weitzel, T. (2006)
Die Bedeutung des Alignments von IT und Fachressourcen in Finanzprozessen: Eine empirische Untersuchung

View Abstract
Wie kann die Ressource IT wertschaffend eingesetzt werden? Auf der theoretischen Grundlage des Resource-based View of IT sowie der Alignment-Literatur argumentieren wir, dass die tatsächliche Nutzung der IT sowie das Zusammenspiel zwischen IT und Fachabteilungen grundlegend für die Leistung von IT-intensiven Geschäftsprozessen sind. Das entwickelte Wirkmodell wird in einer Studie unter den 1.000 größten Banken Deutschlands empirisch untersucht. Es zeigt sich, dass die Leistung des untersuchten Geschäftsprozesses, wie hypothetisiert, stark von einem Alignment zwischen der IT- und der Geschäftsdomäne abhängt. Ebenso wird deutlich, dass ein bestimmtes Ausmaß fachlicher Ressourcen entscheidend ist und auch eine herausragende IT-Ausstattung und -Unterstützung keine Mängel hinsichtlich dieser fachlichen Ressourcen ausgleichen kann. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen damit wichtige Einsichten der Literatur zu Alignment auch auf Prozessebene und zeigen im Gegensatz zu bestehender Literatur theoretisch wie empirisch, dass der Wertbeitrag der IT nicht ohne Berücksichtigung der Nicht-IT-Fachkompetenz untersucht werden kann.

Weitzel, T., Beimborn, D., and König, W. (2006)
A Unified Economic Model of Standard Diffusion: The Impact of Standardization Cost, Network Effects and Network Topology
Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ) Volume 30, p. 489-514 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A+)

View Abstract
This paper is motivated by the following question: What drives the diffusion of a communication standard and what diffusion results can we expect? Past literature provides many instructive but mostly unrelated answers. Frequent findings are startup problems, penguin effects, and tendencies towards monopoly. But substantial problems in applying the models to concrete standardization problems reveal that the dynamics are probably more complex. Not all networks are ultimately conquered by a single standard once it has attracted a certain number of users. And not all diffusion results are either complete or no standardization. We address the question of the conditions of particular diffusion behaviors by developing a formal standardization model that captures all fragmented phenomena in a unified approach. Drawing from findings of other research we incorporate the structure of the underlying user network as an important determinant for diffusion behaviors. The approach allows us to disclose varying conditions that generate frequently observed standardization behaviors as special parameter constellations of the model. Using equilibrium analysis and computer simulations we identify a standardization gap that reveals the magnitude of available standardization gains for individuals and the network as a whole. The analysis shows that network topology and density have a strong impact on standard diffusion and that the renowned tendency towards monopoly is far less common. We also report how the model can be used to decide on corporate standardization problems.

Beimborn, D., Franke, J., and Weitzel, T. (2005)
The Role of Experience for Outsourcing Evaluation

View Abstract
How can outsourcing be used to improve financial processes and what role does managers' experience with outsourcing play for outsourcing decisions? An empirical survey with CFOs of Germany's Fortune 1,000 firms (non-banks) reveals that (1) there are substantial efficiency potentials in the financial chain of many firms, (2) outsourcing these secondary processes is still quite rare, and (3) prior outsourcing experience of managers has a strong impact on the evaluation of the competencies of external service providers: an experienced manager is more likely to appreciate the provider's skills, someone without outsourcing experience presumes the higher competencies inhouse.

Beimborn, D. and Hoppen, N. (2004)
A Simulative Approach to Determining the Economic Efficiency of Software Patents

View Abstract
Abstract: Traditionally, only technical inventions such as light bulbs or pharmaceuticals were protected by patents. Nowadays software patents are a widly discussed topic in the U.S. and in Europe because of their supposed impact on national innovation rates. Based on an analysis of the determinants of successful software development, we use a bipartite probability model to compare a deregulated market without patents to a market using a patent system. Applying computer-based simulations, we analyze different scenarios to test the impact of different patent duration and width on the innovation behavior of the software market. We show that strong patent protection is globally efficient only in markets with a relatively low profit potential.

Weitzel, T., Beimborn, D., and König, W. (2003)
Coordination In Networks: An Economic Equilibrium Analysis
Information Systems and e-Business Management (1:2), p. 189-211 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: C)

View Abstract
Networks utilizing modern communication technologies can offer competitive advantages to those using them wisely. But due to the existence of network effects, planning and operating cooperation networks is difficult. In this paper, the strategic situation of individual agents deciding on network participation is analysed. A systematic equilibrium analysis using computer-based simulations reveals principal solution scenarios for network agents and shows that network cooperation problems might frequently be not as difficult to resolve as often feared. In particular, strategic situations are identified showing that a majority of individuals might be better off getting the optimal solution from a central principal and that in many cases simple information intermediation can solve the start-up problem notorious in network economics.

Beimborn, D., Mintert, S., and Weitzel, T. (2002)
Web Services und ebXML
WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK (44:3), p. 277-280, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
Web Services werden häufig verstanden als Dienste, die auf dem losen Zusammenspiel von Standards wie XML, SOAP, WSDL und UDDI (s. u.) beruhen und somit als Grundlage einer unternehmens- und anwendungsübergreifenden automatisierten System-zu-System-Kommunikation dienen. Die einfachste Form findet sich als XML-RPC als Front-End an Legacy-Systemen. Gerne zitierte Beispiele für einfache Web Services umfassen Informationsabfragen (z. B. Wechselkurse) und Dienste wie Konvertierungen (z. B. HTML in XML). Vor allem zukünftige Web Services als Teile sich spontan formierender dynamischer Wertketten verlangen eine umfassende Architektur, damit sich Anbieter und Nutzer von Diensten automatisch finden und ihre Prozesse aufeinander abstimmen können. Nachfolgend werden die wichtigsten Bausteine einer solchen Web-Services-Architektur sowie das ebXML-Projekt als mögliches Rahmenwerk vorgestellt. Eine ausführlichere Darstellung mit vielen zusätzlichen Ressourcen und Beispielen steht in [BWWM02] und unter zur Verfügung.