Lots of edge thinking in the web services world at the moment.
Peter Cousins (Iona) has been talking about Integration at the Edge. Good summary by Steve Vinoski (also Iona).
The core argument here is that change and variety and business value occur at the edge of the organization, so that's where technology needs to be focused – including integration technology.
Some supporting evidence comes from the Yankee Group, which finds a surprisingly large number of web service projects addressing supply chain integration. Alice LaPlante (Web Services Pipeline) suggests this means that web services are most valuable at the seams where organizations are trying to meet and share data and functionality. Web Services Thrive On Enterprise 'Edge'
Radovan Janecek adds: OK, so if we agree we should do the integration on the edge, then I add: do the management on the edge too. Otherwise, you will fall in the ESB trap again. (RJ expands this here.)
Meanwhile, leading management thinkers are arguing for organizations to take power to the edge - and this is also motivated by matters of change and variety and business value. Thus the technology agenda coincides with and supports the business agenda.
Update: Following this post, Philip Boxer and I wrote two articles for the Microsoft Architecture Journal.
Metropolis and SOA Governance: Towards the Agile Metropolis (Architecture Journal 5, July 2005)
Taking Governance to the Edge (Architecture Journal 6, August 2006)