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Published in: Business & Information Systems Engineering 6/2020

09-12-2019 | Research Note

A Case for a New IT Ecosystem: On-The-Fly Computing

Authors: Holger Karl, Dennis Kundisch, Friedhelm Meyer auf der Heide, Heike Wehrheim

Published in: Business & Information Systems Engineering | Issue 6/2020

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Abstract

The complexity of development and deployment in today’s IT world is enormous. Despite the existence of so many pre-fabricated components, frameworks, cloud providers, etc., building IT systems still remains a major challenge and most likely overtaxes even a single ambitious developer. This results in spreading such development and deployment tasks over different team members with their own specialization. Nevertheless, not even highly competent IT personnel can easily succeed in developing and deploying a nontrivial application that comprises a multitude of different components running on different platforms (from frontend to backend). Current industry trends such as DevOps strive to keep development and deployment tasks tightly integrated. This, however, only partially addresses the underlying complexity of either of these two tasks. But would it not be desirable to simplify these tasks in the first place, enabling one person – maybe even a non-expert – to deal with all of them? Today’s approaches to the development and deployment of complex IT applications are not up to this challenge. “On-The-Fly Computing” offers an approach to tackle this challenge by providing complex IT services through largely automated configuration and execution. The configuration of such services is based on simple, flexibly combinable services that are provided by different software providers and traded in a market. This constitutes a highly relevant challenge for research in many branches of computer science, information systems, business administration, and economics. In this research note, it is analyzed which pieces of this new “On-The-Fly Computing” ecosystem already exist and where additional, often significant research efforts are necessary.
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Footnotes
1
Three related overview papers (Happe et al. 2013; Petrlic et al. 2014; Szopinski et al. 2017) are also concerned with On-The-Fly Computing. Despite some overlap, these contributions differ in their scope, each addressing different aspects of On-The-Fly Computing.
 
2
A similar definition and description of OTF Computing can be found in, e.g., (Happe et al. 2013). We note that realizing the OTF Computing vision can be interpreted as the development of a novel and special type of service system contributing to the stream of research on service systems engineering (Böhmann et al. 2014) with a focus on the engineering services architectures.
 
3
In the same vein (Weinhardt and Gimpel 2007) note for Internet market platforms, such as eBay, Amazon or Google: “after the initial introduction of the electronic market platform, there is no clear cut distinction between design-time and runtime any more. [...] These service operators can continuously experiment with subsets of their user groups [...] and the real-time feedback allows continuous improvement in the design of their online businesses.”
 
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Metadata
Title
A Case for a New IT Ecosystem: On-The-Fly Computing
Authors
Holger Karl
Dennis Kundisch
Friedhelm Meyer auf der Heide
Heike Wehrheim
Publication date
09-12-2019
Publisher
Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
Published in
Business & Information Systems Engineering / Issue 6/2020
Print ISSN: 2363-7005
Electronic ISSN: 1867-0202
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-019-00627-x

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