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How Can SOA Save the Day?
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How Can SOA Save the Day?

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How can Web 2.0 and SOA help companies navigate through these tough times?

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  • There is no record of any product or a technology saving companies in tough times. So if you ask SOA can help companies right now now ? If you have implemented technologies like Web2.0 and SOA it might have helped you. End of the day it's not the technology or process it's the people.

  • Tough times are exactly the times when every company is trying to cut costs since the Revenue line has slowed down and customers are not buying anyway. For cutting costs one of the most important things you are looking at is speeding up business processes and cutting costs by cutting people needed or freezing hiring and reemploying people freed up with improved business processes. SOA is absolutely essential if you want to integrate systems and eliminate manual work and reentry of information from one system to another.

    Yes. SOA can save the day but the problem is that it can save the day only if it is a long term project since it cannot be done quickly. Organizations should be adopting SOA in good times so that they can save the day when times are bad!

  • I consider SOA and Enterprise/Web 2.0 to be the "shovel-ready" technologies and methodologies that will provide a "stimulus" for business growth this year and into the future.

    They will:

    - Increase confidence through greater transparency of applications and data, especially at a time when markets have been quaking from fear of what they don’t know;

    - Help businesses collaborate better through more rapid integration. This is a time when organizations are re-evaluating, breaking down and reconstituting processes, or going through mergers.

    - Help businesses achieve economies of scale: Organizations have a wealth of assets and resources they could tap into, if only they could. SOA can help surface these resources for new uses across the business.

    - Help organizations expand or contract pieces of the business, as needed, without fuss and muss. Technology resources can quickly be pointed to business units or products that are seeing spikes in growth.

  • SOA, sorry, Service Orientation, hides one secret - it is not about technology but about business organisation. No one technology, except a banknote printing, can save one isolated company in a turmoil time. However, a methodology that drives people perception and behaviour can.

    This SOS methodology has to provide flexible approach to the external changes and make the organisation adaptable to those changes in minimal time and with minimal efforts.

    To date, I know only one methodology, which can incorporate business and technical capabilities to address market needs – it is service orientation. But do not be foolled by SOA again, Technology alone cannot do much to protect its company, it is the Business who has to admit it’s service-oriented nature, apply SO principles to its own organisation end-to-end and only then hire IT with its technical capabilities.

    If we really implement Enterprise Architecture in the way specified by TOGAF 9.0, i.e. where EA = Business Architecture + Technical(IT) Architecture, and apply SO principles at the EA level to the organisation’s Business Services (including their technical components) for internal and external Clients, we can trust that SO is capable of saving the Day.

  • If you're grasping at buzzwords to get your business out of a fix, then sorry, I think it's too late to dream of salvation!

    People are going to have to work smarter and harder to thrive in tough times, and SOA and Web 2.0 are both technologies that are useful for saving costs and driving efficiencies if they're deployed sensibly and intelligently. But they can just as easily become an unproductive distraction and a money sink.

  • Methodologies and technologies are nothing more than tools. Tools without plans are a waste of time for the enterprise. As with most issues, there are no silver bullets here. Trying to position SOA/cloud computing/etc as the solution to tough economic times is naive.

    Navigating through tough times requires organizations to focus on streamlining their core competencies while eliminating low value initiatives (this is something organizations should be doing anyway - nothing new here).

  • The short answer is no. SOA can play a large role in getting businesses to operate efficiently and help fulfill the mandate of doing more with less. However, SOA is successful when a proper strategy is in place, roles understood, scope well defined and good communication is happening by all parties involved. Of course, if you have this you are probably not looking for answers.

    I think the key to implementing an SOA strategy is to take a pragmatic approach. To me this means starting small and building on a proven track record. It’s good to have a long-term strategy, but break that strategy up into small manageable units of work that build on top of each other to enforce the value of the strategy. In the current economic climate we are already seeing customers doing this naturally.

  • "Save the day" is a fairly broad agenda, and SOA of course encompasses a fairly broad scope of human activities (as well as machine activities).

    Lets make some equivalencies that might make this statement more parseable. I realize this is not an accurate mapping, but we will use this mapping in order to make the question answerable instead of unanswerable. So in the great tradition of any politician, I will answer the question I want to answer, not the one asked.

    lets map:
    SOA ---> A system for enabling, delivering, combining and reusing business services.

    and

    "Save the day" ---> Prevent the collapse or failure of an organization.

    Then I believe there is a specific answerable principle here.

    I believe that redefining IT capabilities at a higher level of abstraction (Business Services) that can be recombinant produces a sustainable competitive advantage. Combining these capabilities in the form of business processes creates continuous process improvement.

    The thing that differentiates good organizations from weak ones in the long run is sustainable competitive advantage. All advantages in competition are temporary, save those that are systematic.

    Therefore having a systematic method for recombining business capabilities can provide a long term competitive advantage and therefore separate organizations with this capability from ones that don't.

    Organizations unable to respond to this combinatoric imperative will be at a disadvantage and therefore in the long run will fail.

    This case can be refuted, but it is an answer to the above question--the *manner* or *how* "SOA" can "Save the day".

    My 2 cents
    Miko

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