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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Gee, SOA Really is Rocket Science (But Not as Complicated or Explosive)

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Miko Matsumura, Bjoern Brauel, and Jignesh Shah, all with SoftwareAG, have just come out with a book called "SOA Adoption for Dummies," which draws a very compelling analogy to the world of rock science. I can definitely see Miko's thinking behind the analogy, as he is the master of really cool analogies. (Available for download here. Five copies will also be made available at Wednesday's SOA in Action Conference.)

But, don't worry, you won't be required to understand how each engine of a Saturn V rocket delivers 5-1/2-million pounds of thrust, or the differences between solid-fuel and liquid-fuel boosters or anything like that. (That can be found in "Rocket Science for Dummies," naturally...)

Rather, the authors equate the SOA journey to a space flight, as follows:

"SOA adoption, like a real-world rocket,experiences a danger zone between blast-off and the weightlessness of orbit. When fully realized, SOA can transform your business. But until firmly established, your SOA dreams can plummet back to earth. Getting across this SOA danger zone requires a focus on several key principles: Keep the pointy end of the SOA rocket up by measuring your progress and making course corrections as you go; Keep moving up by motivating the teams and players in your SOA adoption; Don’t stop till you’re weightless by automating processes until implementing SOA becomes second nature and therefore effortless."

Fittingly, the last chapter, entitled "To Infinity and Beyond," To Infinity and Beyond," looks at where SOA is leading, and points to new worlds such as event driven architecture (EDA) and complex event processing (CEP), and software as a service and platform as a service,

A great corollary to this book someday may be to look at NASA's project management approaches, from the wherewithal that led to the first moon flights (1968-1972) to the current Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

ebizQ colleague Beth Gold-Bernstein also provides some good commentary on the new book. "What I liked most about it was the continual advice that SOA success requires attention to the human element. Boy is that ever true! The book presents both a SOA architecture blueprint and an organizational blueprint, talks about tribal warfare and how it can impact the success of projects."

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more


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