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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Transcript: SOA Adoption for Dummies

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The following is a full transcript from ebizQ's recent Webcast on SOA transformation, featuring Software AG's Miko Matsumura and Jignesh Shah, authors of SOA Adoption for Dummies, and myself.

Joe McKendrick: Today's Webinar is titled "2009 SOA Adoption and Transformation"
I'm pleased to be joined in this podcast by two of the authors of the latest "Dummies" book, SOA Adoption for Dummies, released in November. Joining me are Miko Matsumura, Vice President and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Software AG, and someone it's been my pleasure to know for a number of years now, and I consider Miko a thought leader within the SOA space.

We are also joined by Jignesh Shah, Product Line Director of SOA Governance products at Software AG. Jignesh was part of our rousing panel discussion at the SOA in Action conference in November. It's a pleasure to have you back here, Jignesh...

And there is also a third co-author, Bjoern Brauel of Software AG, who is not with us for this Webcast.

Miko and Jignesh will also be sharing their insights at the upcoming SOA Summit, sponsored by Software AG and to be held May 5 and 6 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Summit program is packed with great sessions on the latest trends in the SOA space. I'll be moderating a panel out there as well. Check it out at www.soasummit2009.com.

Now, not only is this a great work, but also it's all presented within 100 pages. I know many of you out there are quite busy between your personal and professional lives, but this book is a very quick read - you can digest quite a bit of SOA knowledge in one sitting. If you're between flights in the airport lounge, or on the plane, you can pull quite a bit from the book.

I won't read off the entire list here, but I do want to call out three chapters - three nuggets - that really grabbed my attention, and I'll start off our discussion with those chapters.

They include discussions of SOA rocket science, who pays for SOA, and IT sprawl. I'll dive into these topics with Miko and Jignesh.

Now, the release of your book, SOA Adoption for Dummies, couldn't come at a better time. There's been a lot of pushback lately - Anne Thomas Manes tapped into the frustration when she declared SOA to be dead at the beginning of the year.

But SOA is not dead, of course. It is evolving as businesses evolve. In today's rough and tumble economy, perhaps there's no better time for organizations to begin to embrace the principles and methodologies of SOA.

First, a word about the power and promise of SOA. And I just want to start off with a phrase from the book, a definition if you will, which I think really does a great job in capturing the essence of what we're all trying to accomplish with SOA.

And that is, "SOA gains its power by expressing technical capabilities in business terms and allowing business to rapidly recombine them into new solutions." And what that says to me is that make no mistake about it, SOA is there to serve the business.

Miko and Jignesh, who is the intended audience for this book?  I notice it is very non-technical, business flavor to the book, and, of course, since it's a "Dummies" book, you probably won't see software engineers reading it. Are you looking to reach a business audience, an enterprise architect audience?

Miko Matsumura: We would rally like to target it at as broad an audience as possible... the thing that I think that is important to emphasize is ...is that its not an SOA book... in the sense of what is it, what is SOA..  It's really about adoption... and that's a very big distinction for us.

The result of architecture is a blueprint and the result of construction is a building.  We want people to be able to create an building. We want people to implement and adopt and be able to get the benefit of an architectural blueprint is its nice to look at. It represents almost like a dream of a realized IT system. We're past the stage where we're dreaming about it, and I think were at the stage where we should be adopting and implementing it.. so that's really the focus of the book.

Jignesh Shah: Our view when we started writing the book was we really want to provide a ... practical roadmap to what we think is the new approach to delivering business capabilities. This definition fundamentally changes a lot of parts of pieces of the enterprise, and how IT interacts with the business. We do want really the whole value chain to be able to get value from this book, and the whole value chain includes developers. We hope developers will read this book and get a lot of value out of it.

Joe: Over the past two years, I've seen this tremendous sea change... in this space here..   its no longer an issue of trying to define and explain what SOA is... we seem to be at the more roll your sleeves up.. and lets get to work stage...

Miko: No question about it.

Jignesh: I would agree with that too. That is, part of the reason why you see this perhaps disillusionment -- I'm not sure if that's a really strong term -- once we started rolling up our sleeves to make this vision a reality, where the rubber meets the road. And it's natural for some reality to sink in to make you realize this is not an overnight transformation. There will be hurdles, there will be roadblocks.  But the value and benefits also become that much more clear.

Joe: Great.  You talk about roadmaps and blueprints; lets plan out what we're going to do.  A great illustration of that is the space program itself. The analogy you guys put out throughout the book, draws a very compelling analogy to the world of rocket science. I can definitely see Miko's thinking behind this analogy, as he is the master of analogies in this space.

But, not too worry, Miko and Jignesh aren't saying that SOA is only understandable to rocket scientists. You won't be required to understand how the engine of a Saturn V rocket delivers 250,000 pounds of thrust, or what the differences are between solid-fuel and liquid-fuel boosters or anything like that.

Rather, its presented in very clear, concise terms. SOA is seen as a journey akin to a space flight. Miko and Jignesh talk about SOA adoption crossing a danger zone between blast-off and the weightlessness of orbit, which we'll get into.

You know, I was thinking too, as I read the book, a great corollary to this book may be to look at NASA's own project management approaches, and perhaps the lessons we can learn from it..  if you look back at the space program, which started with a sub orbital flight back in May 1961,  to the launch of the first Saturn V rocket into space in November 1967.

Just think, there were only six years - only six years -- between these two events. The Saturn V to this day is probably the most incredible piece of machinery ever built. That's masterful project management.

Miko and Jignesh, do you think the NASA managers of the 1960s knew something at that point that has taken the rest of the world has taken four decades to catch up on in terms of project management?

Miko: Let me give you a couple of different thoughts on the topic.  In a way, one of the things that struck me in particular about this kind of space analogy is really the aspect of leadership. I think management is just a little bit too far down in the weeds for my taste. I think leadership is really the big game changer for SOA. The space program may have not actually started with that rocket, it may have actually truly got its biggest change when President Kennedy said we will put a man on the moon within the decade.

This statement is a leadership statement. There were a lot of social forces. One of the forces that I thought was relevant at that time was competition. Which is that, there's a subtext to that statement of 'lets beat the Russians.'   

So it's interesting to see how the leader can really harness a really large group of people into a common goal and common mission and this very complex mission can be achieved. What we're not necessarily saying is SOA has to be as ambitious, complex and expensive, but certainly there's a couple of things you can draw from the analogy side. Jignesh was very helpful in pointing out there's some ways in which SOA adoption is not like a rocket project.

Joe:  Excellent.  Great point about leadership as well. SOA is about business transformation. It calls for people well-versed in both the business and technical aspects of how to move this forward.

Miko:  The goal of achieving the moon landing for president Kennedy was not about technology. It's about the United States. That's really the nature of SOA as well. SOA as a program spanning multiple projects should really be about the business, and ultimately transforming the state of the business.

Jignesh: And to add to that, one of the key ingredients of SOA if you will is having one or more strong SOA champions in the organization. We strongly feel that given the scope of SOA, you do need a small group or perhaps a strong personality to champion SOA in your organization.

In fact, we believe that so much we have at the SOA Summit invited an executive coach, who works exclusively with CIOs and IT executives, to come and share her insights and principles around what it takes to be a champion.  And that's a key ingredient to SOA success..

Joe: Jignesh that's a great point.. In your experience, who do you see emerging from the ranks. What kind of professionals or managers are leading the effort?...

Jignesh: We have seen that come from a few areas typically. One common area tends to be the integration managers. So if somebody is like the VP of the integration center. Because Integration tends to be a top use case for SOA, from the integration side of the IT organization and driving SOA forward.

There have been cases where we've seen an SOA champion being appointed, directly, either reporting into the CIO, or the office of the CIO. We have seen those cases. Those tend to be more of a visionary approach to rolling out SOA. We now have an SOA czar that we see occasionally.

Integration folks, they have the right background. They look at things from a cross-organizational or cross-silo point of view, and they have a lot of the technical capabilities, as well deep-down to make SOA work at the nuts-and-bolts level, A shared services type of environment. So they are the natural fit for being SOA champions.

Miko: In sufficiently large organizations we also see from a pure architectural function; folks from that side also.

Joe: I've heard a lot of discussion. The folks at ZapThink have been on top of this. There's a critical shortage of enterprise architecture skills. Recession or no recession, we need these skill sets to move SOA forward.

I want to call out a comment one of our listeners just left. The rocket analogy can extend to the amount of fuel needed for escape velocity and the amount of effort to change corporate culture.  I think that's really right on.

Miko: I think for us the fuel is less budgetary and more motivational. That's really key for us..  When we draw out the metaphor, what we're really talking about is sort of crossing of the danger zone. There's this initial phase, where this thing has been launched, but there hasn't been major business traction.  You're just growing it, and getting people across that. Not a big bang budget proposal. There needs to be a way to ignite and sustain; the kind of motivational energy.

We talked specifically about how things like appropriate measurement and appropriate reporting.. can really help to continue to feed and fuel the initial success, and turn it into sustained success.

Joe: You mentioned the danger zone. Top Gun comes to mind there comes into mind as well. Where do you see the danger zone in the SOA process is it the period of raised expectations. Bringing in Anne Thomas Manes, Burton group again, who observed that there's a lot of initial enthusiasm initially after a couple of years, things start to come apart, expectations may be dashed. Where do you see the danger zone?

Miko:  Let me articulate it in a different way. If you take a metaphor of the alphabet. If you look at this concept of building almost like a platform -- reusable composable services, etc.  Its almost like building the letters of the alphabet. There's a finite number of letters -- 26 letters. If you start out, you have the letter A...  and you can ask yourself how many words can the letter make? you can only make the word A... The you add the letter B, and you can spell AB... then you build the letter C.. you think... the word cab, that kind of thing... initially, there's not a lot of flexibility, agility... and combinatory...

As you start to get to this medium size region, then ...you start to see thing take off...  you ought to see accelerating business value... its not just the business value increasing linearly, but actually increases by leaps and bounds... but thing is it takes a little while for the thing to take off..

the danger zone is there s a stage where you've built ... ...investment.. but you haven't reached the critical mass.... very powerful pallet to paint from... that you can really combine it into a lot of different expressions...  that's where you start to see some of the risks... where people start to make pronouncements, and these types of things...

Joe: Do you also see economies of scale... that may evolve as SOA is more widely adopted?  first efforts may cost a bit more because they're new... folks are on a learning curve, in terms of putting SOA principals and practices into action...

Miko: Absolutely. ...if you look at the metaphor... 50% of the energy is spent in the first minute.. ...because you're really getting out of this deep gravity well of like past behavior.... the piece that Bjorn briaer our third author.. contributes very significantly in the book is about organizational behavior... that's really where the inertia is... and getting up out of that inertia takes a lot...

it's a little bit less about economies of absolute scale, and more about people knowing what to do... I think if people are generating this kind of reusable service, contributing this platform....  Making the entity of making your... much more expressive that you can really attach and build on top of... if that's just how you do business... if everybody knows the playbook in their ...muscle memory, then you'll see a championship sports tam ... everybody's committed to the playbook, the muscle memory... you're pretty much in orbit...  you're floating around, and in order to get from point A to point B, you don't have to expend that much energy at all.

Joe: Here you see their advice, from the book - exactly what you've been discussing miko... "keep the pointy end of the rocket up," meaning stay on course; "keep moving up," keep everyone motivated; keep demonstrating the business benefits, and keep going until you are weightless.

Weightless SOA. I love that concept. That to me represents the ultimate form of agility...  In other words, it is pervasive, it is baked into not only the organization's infrastructure, but into its culture as well.  I might add that it evokes images of being frictionless as well, from the early days of the Internet.... You heard folks talk about frictionless commerce that would be available over the Internet...

Miko and Jignesh, I see this as reaching that state of actualization, if you will, or nirvana, where SOA has achieved its goals. What does an organization with weightless SOA look and act like? How do they know when they've reached that stage?

Jignesh: At this stage, you would not be worrying about SOA as this special thing you have to care for... as miko said earlier, it becomes part of your muscle memory...  ...This is how you would design every new system...  ..all system development... go through this space, new techniques and so on...

Over time, it simply becomes second nature, where that is the way systems are built...  that would be the point in which SOA is weightless... because you have the skills you need...   .everyone understands ...how to build things in a way that are reusable, and thinking in a more granular level, or less granular level...  in some cases... where you have the processes in place that take care of your governance concerns. And you now have accountability spread throughout the enterprise... so its really the point at which the way you build systems... is ..second nature...  when it comes to skills, when it comes to processes, and when it comes to infrastructure...

Joe: There really isn't even a consciousness... everyone ... its so baked into the process now... its like breathing...

Miko:  Switching and mixing again... getting to the house concept... its like when you're doing architecture, you're huddled over the blueprint... that's really doing architecture... doing architecture, by the time you're actually living in a house.. ...you're pretty much not thinking about the architecture of the house...  you're running your business, day to day, all the benefits are there for you...

Joe: As we discussed, the road to SOA is a long-term evolution. The short-term benefits of course as well...  there's a real long term focus to it...  And it takes time and effort and motivation to become truly service oriented. In the book, Miko and Jignesh you talk about some of the issues you will face on the journey. Even with the Apollo moon flights, they weren't exactly perfect, they had their glitches..  and you even had Apollo 13, dramatized in the movie with tom hanks... which had its flight curtailed and was forced to limp back to earth using the lunar landing module as a lifeboat...

In the book, you provide a list of the risks that SOA proponents should be aware of and will likely face over the course of their journey, including SOA fatigue, leadership changes, vendor issues, consultant issues, issues with implementers, and funding issues

What are the greatest risks that could send an SOA effort off course? Do the risks change as you move through different stages? Are the risks different in the blast-off stage versus the orbital phase? What have you seen unfolding?

Miko
That's one of things we want to clarify in the book. And we do provide a pretty short list of some of these dangers... that's really the topic of chapter 10, chapter 11...

From our perspective... ...the risks don't really change that much.. it's a fairly classic pattern... which is the pattern is you have to look at how much motivation you have in the organization to stay on course...

Motivation is the measurement of the amount of fuel that you have...  ...if you keep the rocket principles in mind, keep the pointy end of the rocket...  facing up, keep the thrust going, and don't stop, you're going to be in good shape...

...encoded in those principles is a good feeling of the risk... one risk is you're not pointed in the right direction...  ..no matter how much thrust you have, if you're pointed in the wrong direction, you may have a problem, Houston...

the other is if there's not much fuel in the tank...  ...potentially a problem from the leadership... side where the leadership may loose their faith... that's a big issue. That could relate to things like funding...

...if you declare victory or mission accomplished too soon...  ...you can have a little problem as well...  you really have to bake it into your practice, your culture, to make sure you're getting there...

...the thing that I think is really interesting is there's a point in the flight of the rocket called escape velocity... escape velocity is not at the orbit level...  you haven't gotten into orbit...  but you've gotten to the point where its evitable. You've gotten to the point where your velocity is sufficient...  if you just did nothing at that point... you would already be heading into orbit, or your interstellar destination...

that's really the target at some level... ...if you can get to the point where its a foregone conclusion... that you're going to get there, then you'll be in good shape...  what is that analogous to...

for us that's analogous to the point where you can show the acceleration of the business value...  you can actually show the magnitude of the service...  reuse is one measurement... the number of novel combinations... or business processes you generated from the ....underlying components... if you can measure these things and show them taking off... once you get to that point, you're in real good shape... you can say, look, we're winning...

its clear, its inevitable.. if you look at this curve and plot it out...  ...we're  going to do just fine...

Joe
...that's one of things you point out in the book, the importance of measurement, the ability to show progress each step of the way and show the benefit to the business...

miko
no question.. Jignesh, you've been doing work in this area...

Jignesh
That's definitely key... and some of the measurements that you perform... and communicate will vary...  I think if you've taken a more business-oriented view at adopting SOA... your focus will be on very business-oriented measurements like ..how quickly... have we been able to put a new system together, or how quickly we've been able to adapt changes and requirements... that business wanted...  or how much cheaper are we able to...  do certain things... now as compared to how things were before this approach was adopted...

those are the type of metrics that business will care about and will appreciate... there are certainly other operational metrics that are also important... a lot of them underlie these top level business metrics...  and ...they will help you course correct things like reuse rates....  ...and consumption details and things like that... These are not necessarily of interest to the business side...  ...but they help you understand at a more detail level... how your business is progressing...

we recommend taking an approach...  ...but when you're communicating to the business the business value... you focus on the business-oriented measurements...

Joe: Another point I want to call out from the book... you mention ..one of the challenges is funding cutoff. If you look at NASA's history..  probably one of the greatest issues has not been technical...  a result of funding... they could have sent flights to mars by now... if they had the money, but the money wasn't there...   ....shuttle program saw a lot of cutbacks... the shuttle the result of a budget comprise...  essentially....  we see this with SOA...

...a listener asks a question about, with the tight economy, and the potential for budget cutbacks or at least tight IT budgets...  how can IT departments sell the case for SOA... ..given that it's a long-term vision where most of the most of the benefits are reaped in the long run...

...funding for SOA is a very compelling topic, because in many organizations, its unclear who will be underwriting the first efforts at SOA...  which department will be the first to step forward and put up the resources to ...  ..launch services to be shared by others across the enterprise...

Miko and Jignesh, suppose you want to get the ball rolling in organizations in starting SOA, and you're encountering resistance from your management? They want to keep budgets tight.  Any advice for those that are pushing to get something started? How do you push someone to put up the first round of funding?

Miko: I have two answers to that. one of which is very much the grassroots bootstrap method... the bootstrap method is very measurement-centric... ....I talk about in the book I talk about tribalism... that's actually a wonderful starting point. ...And the reason that's such a good starting point is because... ...you don't have to look very far for something that is broken and wrong in enterprise IT...  ...any project that will fix it up and make it better is in some ways economically timely... ...what better time to invest in an IT infrastructure...

Vendors like ... ...infrastructure vendors.. we had a cloud computing event... and people are offering a Linux box for 10 cents an hour.. ... there's a lot of opportunity to invest. Because as warren buffet said ...you have to be bold when others are fearful, and fearful when others are bold...  and that characterizes sound investment...

..if you look at the Gartner hype cycle... if you invest at the very peak, that's the worse thing to yourself that you can do... ..because the prices are inflated...  and you're really kind of making kind of a fool of yourself, because prices will come down from the peak...  

so in terms of an investment pattern, downturn is the perfect time to invest... because what you're really doing is you're separating yourself out from the competition...  you're going to come out of the downturn like a tiger... and you're really going to be able to take a great capability...

if you look at the pure bottom-up mentality...  the bottom up mentality is what you do is you measure ..externality... what I mean by externality is you just look at the impact of one tribe on another...tribe...  

Externality is basically an economic costs that's created buy one group and borne by another group. ...one example in economics is pollution... one group that's polluting...another downstream..

In enterprise IT you see examples all the time... for example, there may be a development team that generates a lot of bugs...  but those bugs don't really come back to bite them, because that's for the QA team, or someone else's problem to deal with ....someone else's' problem.

...so I think the grassroots... to get to the SOA equation is to start to connect...  the cost of behavior.. and start to measure that...

...get your ecosystem together...  you start to understand the cost... ...once you can start to paint the picture with the dots, you can connect the dots... and say there really is a systematic approach to this ... its not just a bunch a dots.... ...you start to get an image... it's a slower way to go to be sure...  ..but just pointing out.. and measuring and revealing these ills... in the way IT is conducted  its absolutely a logical starting point...

it's a way of gathering of unstoppable ...momentum... once people see what's going on... there's no going back...

Joe: Great advice...  In a downtime, it's a great time to look forward and prepare for the next boom.

Miko: I just bought a house.  

Joe: Great timing.

Miko: Great rates.

Joe: I like this point that was made in the book. We are all both service providers and consumers.  The lines between producers and consumers, is blurring..  ...departments beyond IT departments that are doing these things... That is, thanks to the Internet, thanks to Web services, thanks to SOA, and thanks to Web 2.0, the lines have blurred between the producers and consumers of services. Look at any typical company these days, and you'll find departments that are publishing and cataloging services beyond IT. It's getting so easy now to create a service, thanks to things like mashups, that many non-technical folks are becoming de facto developers. And, looking at it from a more macro level, the lines between software providers and customers may even be blurring. We're seeing companies across the board - even ones with relatively thin IT staff - becoming software publishers. Look are far Amazon has come from its days as an online bookseller.

Okay, the third takeaway from the book I want to talk to talk about is meeting head-on, the challenge of IT sprawl.  We know that as the number of applications and servers grow. The business demands...  things can get quite messy. As the number of applications and servers grow.. and the business demands more functionality... ...more data... things get quite messy...

I like how Miko and Jignesh describe what happens as systems grow -- Like amoebas, IT organizations are constantly growing and reorganizing under a variety of pressures. Hopefully you're not talking about organisms from outer space that may be landing in our spaceship there.... Alien 3 or whatever...  ..good ;points around IT sprawl and how SOA can help address IT sprawl.....

Jignesh:  Given the current situation, what are some of the very tangible things that you can do in 2009 to continue to move your SOA momentum forward and continue to progress in SOA adoption? I'll go back to one of the questions that was asked earlier. How do you make a case for SOA when the benefits are long term?

What I would suggest there is even though the vision is long term...  ..the benefits in fact do not take years to appear and to be shown to IT management and business management if needed. There are four areas I can think of...  ..that tend to be very ripe as the starting points for SOA...

For example, systems consolidation. If you have multiple systems doing the same thing. If you already have an initiative in pace to consolidate them into one system... It's a great place to take an SOA approach...

...some bottom line benefit that you will already see... ...you already have a strong case for reuse in those cases...

...another area is business process management... business process is a very easy thing to explain from a business point of view... process automation, process optimization.... competing on ;process agility...

...underling all of that has to be a very strong...  another very tangible... ROI for usage for SOA...

Finally I would mention integration, or rather extending your infrastructure out to partners and customers beyond your firewalls...  another area where you can show very rapid ROI...  using SOA principles...  so these are the tangible things you can think about... in 2009... without having to solve a world hunger type of exercise... you can show very tangible tips along the way...

I have a couple of tips that we talk about quite a bit in the book..  ...in terms of infrastructure....

But there's one piece of SOA infrastructure that we believe is indispensable.. its actually relatively inexpensive... has very rapid time to value... and will serve you in not one bit in three different ways that's the simple concept of using a mediation layer... so your consumers and providers are decoupled, making the service available to different types of consumers, with different security requirements with different protocol environments...

It will also help you minimize disruption as your SOA evolves, or as you add capacity, or as you change message formats. Finally it's a great perch for governance and for change management. This is a great way to enforce policies.

So it's a triple ROI situation... one thing you can gain benefit in three tangible ways...  so that's one recommendation... that should be the foundation of infrastructure.. and is very easy to implement...

The next piece that I talk about goes back to this notion of measurement. And the service management part of infrastructure plays a very key role... in gibing you the ...measurements that you need to continue to justify investment... and to gain motivational fuel to continue your flight upward...this is another area where investment....  ...continue to provide fuel...

this is an area where investment will pay off for years to come... You can deploy service management tools... to gain immediate value...

and if you are also trying to roll out a governance project... this is an easy way to jump-start... your governance projects..

Quick tips what will make sense in ...2009.... ...because these infrastructure pieces... have very good time to value.

Joe: Thanks, Jignesh. One further point...  I think miko and jignesh said it all..  to infinity and beyond... they wrapped up the book talking about the ways we see SOA evolving...  the new elements or the new paradigms... that are shaping the way we look at service oriented architecture or service orientation...

They look at event driven architecture... complex event processing... where businesses can take the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of events that occur across the organization in every day...   and distill that and make sense out of that...

Software as a service, platform as a service... and ...cloud computing... a couple of interesting points about this..  software ag hosted a cloud-computing event the other day...which had a great turnout...   a lot of interesting because of the cost efficiencies... as well as the long-term efficiencies... I've always said SOA can be deployed as an internal cloud... as a private cloud within their enterprise... ..in fact as enterprises look at developing their own private clouds... SOA will be the backbone to that...

Miko, I'll turn it over to you...

Miko: One of things that I wanted reflect on very quickly is where are we with SOA. I have got to say that yesterday's event with cloud computing was extremely exciting. We had a packed room. I made a joke that I'm sorry we didn't have a cloud bursting room, elastic room, because we needed to stretch and accommodate all the people...

There's a lot of interest in this domain.  I'm pleased to know that there's a strong interest in the SOA stage of the cloud right now.  That's where we're at right now, if you look at where we are in the whole process...

Look at the Gartner hype cycle slide.. I talked about when do you invest...  ...slide that shows that is the Gartner hype cycle slide... it shows there is a peak.... when do you invest... ...at peak... don't jump in just because its cool... just because its in to be involved in these technologies...

..because there's this negative hype area... at the bottom of the negative hype or the trough...  you have people pronouncing things like SOA is dead...  because they're in the trough... they're starting to feed the negative hype...

the caution Gartner provides there don't stay out just because its out, just because its not cool... ...SOA is on the slope of enlightenment...  one thing that is particularly delighting to me is ...there's almost 100 attendees... on this Webinar alone... that to me speaks to the full room of people that are adopting and investing in SOA...

So its been my experience that SOA is probably more alive today than any point in its history. It feels good; it feels pretty solid to me.

This is the book... Jignesh,  myself, and Bjorn... I just wanted to say even if you are not a dummy... you can read this edition here, SOA adoption for smarties... it really is the same book....

I even showed this slide to the cloud computing audience....  It really ultimately comes down to humans... as we get down to this modern era in technology... .... We're already approaching the year 2010. we have to start to think about the future and futuristic things...

The thing that's fundamental... ..even though technology doubles and triples and quadruple in its power....  human beings are pretty much constant... I think the thing that we need to take note of is tribalism is an intrinsic part of human nature...  ..its something that is really the biggest barrier to adoption...

...this idea of how do your really move... ...you move from organizational sprawl to organizational blueprint... and you move from architectural sprawl to architectural blueprint....  these two things are movement in parallel, and they are intertwined and interconnected... so I think that is really the key theme...

Jignesh pointed out that we have our SOA summit coming.. this is to me the exciting event of the year.. we've had this annual event... this is a wonderful occasion to come to the United States... Scottsdale, Arizona... you can catch some sun, its May 5th and 6th...  I'll be there, Jignesh will be there... john reimer from Forrester coming...  we've got a lot of world class SOA folks... I just wanted to really encourage you to mark your calendar, may 5th and 6th, Scottsdale Arizona... we'd love to have you.

Joe: We're going to try to get as many questions in as we can. Sorry, we're running low on time here.... we had a question... they picked up on the SOA is dead thread - that rhymes... there might be a danger in applying integration, or using integration as the primary business case for SOA... the listener said that SOA techniques being used to create legacy wrappers.... without looking at the big picture or the proper architectural design...

Jignesh or Miko, do you see a risk.in applying SOA as an integration strategy...

Miko: I certainly can take a short crack at it. Since SOA is a combination of historical elements... taking any purist approach from any historical position is definitely not what we advise...  ..but you got to start from somewhere... from the ;point which you start, you have to kind of rise up into the new paradigm...

I agree there's risk in taking an integration-centric approach to SOA... but ...there's risk in taking a pure...  architecture approach. There's a risk in taking an application development approach...  I think you really have to kind of just evolve... and take your champions from where they come...

Jignesh: I would agree with that. just focusing on greenfield development or greenfield usage for SOA is very difficult for organizations...  we don't recommend that you simply use Web services now as the way to integration... and not really change your fundamental approach to integration.

I think SOA is about connecting heterogeneous diverse systems... ..and SOA approach.... To integration will look very different from a traditional approach to integration...   far more nimble flexible and agile..

Miko: In addition you're connecting silos and tribes, as opposed to just connecting systems...

Joe: Another question... the listener wants to know does SOA planning begin with understanding business processes between divisions of a company...  asking if when you're starting out with your SOA project.. cross-enterprise project from the get-go.

Miko: My take on it that's an extremely insightful question... I talked about externality... what is the cost of two organizations crossing organizational boundaries..... ...how expensive is it when two tribes clash and cause each other pain...

The thing that is intriguing about this question is you absolutely have to look at that, as far as, that's how you can cooperate and how the business benefits from spanning silos and tribes...   from my view, I certainly think that understanding that... as an initial process is ...  so understanding the spanning business processes... all these different horizontal processes, those are very powerful... ..SOA is multiple-platform, its multi-vendor, spanning the standing business processes, all the different horizontal processes.

Jignesh: What is the SOA portfolio you want to target to get the most bang for your buck...  and also can be very useful for you to do this so you can explain the value of SOA to the business...  so its definitely a very good idea...to approach SOA from the point of view of cross-cutting business process...

Joe: Another question from a listener... it looks like its directed at Jignesh, at your segment of the presentation..  ... do you have an excellent of a service management...

Jignesh: Service management can be an effective way for you to strengthen your SOA adoption... it depends on a few factors, depending on where you are...
In the adoption cycle and the kind of things you're doing...

Just some quick examples... ...if you really managed to grow your SOA... without ...proper governance and management in place...   believe me we have see 700 services... and no governance and management in place...

Service management can be the fastest way to relieve some of the pain..... ...cataloging...  ...making sure that nothing slips through the cracks...

If you do not have that large of a portfolio, but you do have...  ...if you do have a lot of ...key mission critical services... then look at service management more from an sla management... root-cause analysis...

...so depending on where you are... mission critical stuff or a lot of stuff...  service management can bring different value... for you initially..

Joe: Unfortunately we've run out the time...  I want to thank everyone for joining us today...

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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