I have been visiting the NESSI general assembly last week. The research agenda for the next five years has been presented. Its basic idea is separation of service usage, data, and service execution, also known as Cloud computing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing. Services can be executed, data needs to be accessible, and users can program their services. This is completely in line with previous thoughts, in which I stated the death of the IT department. It will be distributed in the Internet and I as end-user only needs trust that my data is protected and services are executed in a trusted domain. Google and IBM (see for instance http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/10/supercomputer-that-connects-everything.html) are working to achieve such an environment. We need to re-shift our thinking and architect solutions that take this fundamental change into account. Several issues still need to be solved, e.g. dynamic business process modeling based on rules and existing services and semantic mapping.
I will probably post more on this subject. Please feel free to comment.