Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

The US Government Needs to Move from the Tactical to the Strategic When Considering Cloud

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As presented in Network World, "The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expects to save 40% over the next five years by switching its financial management application to a cloud computing vendor -- a sign of the massive savings to come from the U.S. federal government's shift to the software-as-a-service model."   Good, but not great. 

 

The reality is that US government has a lot of IT fat that can be cut through the use of cloud computing, with leveraging SaaS-based applications being the low hanging fruit.    What's great about SaaS is that that the business case is obvious, and the savings are typically between 40 and 60 percent.    However, what's not so great about SaaS is that you're only dealing with a single application domain and not the architecture holistically.   

 

While the savings that the US government, and we as taxpayers, can enjoy from cloud computing is significant perhaps tactical moves such as leveraging a single SaaS application only masks larger more systemic issues.    Indeed, what's truly needed is an overall strategy around the use of cloud, and the architectural steps to get there.   This includes the use of other cloud solutions, such as IaaS and PaaS, as well as SaaS.

 

The problem is that architectural change around the use of new technology, such as cloud computing, is hard while just migrating from a single on premise application to a SaaS app is easy and quick.   However, the former offers many more efficiencies and cost savings when considering both the economies of the technologies as well as the agility their use brings. 

 

So, when government agencies think cloud they need to thing long term and strategic, and not short term and tactical.    We will all be much happier with the end result.   

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This blog is your first step toward understanding the issues you will face as cloud computing and SOA converge. The movement to cloud computing is a disruptive change that IT departments will soon face as SOA and cloud computing begin to have an effect on the modern enterprise. IT managers must learn how to give as well as take information in this new, shareable environment, while still protecting their company's interests. Innovative companies will take advantage of these new resources and reinvent themselves as unstoppable forces in their markets. Those who don't take advantage of this revolution will become quickly outdated, perhaps out of business.

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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