The Secret Sauce: Loose Coupling

If you've made it this far in the book you may think that IT is nothing but trouble, and you might also be wondering if there's any hope at all for it. After all, we've been compounding complexity upon complexity for over 50 years now, and the resulting mess is a brittle, incomprehensible money pit. Maybe businesses should get rid of their IT departments and return to the good ol' days of rows of people with typewriters and adding machines.

Fortunately, the situation is really not that dire. The first part of the book laid out the problems with today's IT approaches; the rest, however, presents a way out of this mess through a new approach to the challenge of making IT work for the business. As we've been hinting, we frame these solutions into the context of Service Orientation, which presents a different way of addressing the relationship between business and IT. However, we're not ready to define Service Orientation yet, because we must first explain what a Service is. And to do that, we must explain the principle of loose coupling.

Loose coupling is the fundamental principle behind Service Orientation, so it's important that you understand it. It's a pretty heavy concept that has far-reaching business implications. To explain it, therefore, let's step back and tell a tale.


Since the dawn of the information age, computers have had user interfaces. In the earliest days, these interfaces consisted of switches ...

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