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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Time to Make SOA Work for a Living... Conference in Two Weeks

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Welcome to Service Oriented Architecture, Phase 2. It's bigger, It's badder, it's all business.  None of this namby-pamby JBOWs stuff. None of these SOAPY-REST tantrums. SOA is all grown up now, and it's time it starts earning the bacon -- and we're going to show you how.

We're just 19 days away from what will be an informative two-day event, SOA in Action (October 28-29), covering the latest strategies and best practices for putting SOA to work in your organization.

The two-day "SOA in Action" event will explore the state of SOA six years after it first hit the mainstream. Many organizations have achieved strong value, while some are struggling to realize business results from this increasingly popular approach to technology deployment. Some challenging hurdles remain in the "Increase SOA value to the business" journey:

  • Resolving organizational and governance issues are fast becoming pre-requisites to successful SOA deployment
  • "Selling" SOA's value to the business is more difficult in today's economy, especially since ROI is often hard to quantify
  • Evolving SOA projects to derive the benefits of emerging technologies such as Complex Event Processing and Cloud Computing
We have lined up some of the top names in the industry to bring you the latest information on SOA, Phase Two. Randy Heffner, vice president of Forrester Research, will kick off the proceedings with a keynote, "Doing SOA for Business: Fixing the Worst Big SOA Mistakes" (Wednesday, October 28, 11 a.m. Eastern):

The industry is now past the "SOA is dead" scare that some had fun with at the beginning of 2009, but that doesn't mean that you're out of the woods. There was a reason that the industry was ripe for such a scare: Too many people misunderstood SOA and defined it in terms of technologies and products, distracting attention from SOA's real power for business design. Although SOA itself is far from dead, your SOA initiative might die if you don't learn how to do SOA for business. Forrester will cover the worst mistakes that can derail SOA and provide the most important SOA strategy, design, and governance best practices.

Following Randy's speech, I will kick off an industry roundtable at noon (Eastern) that day, titled "SOA Value is Unreachable Without Governance." Featured speakers include: John Favazza, vice president of research and development for WebLayers, and Miko Matsumura, chief software strategist for Software AG:

Do business executives' eyes glaze over when you mention SOA in meetings or proposals? Were your SOA efforts the first thing cut when IT budgets were retrenched? SOA is viewed as an effective mechanism for aligning information technology with business requirements. Yet many SOA projects remain mired within the IT domain, and proponents have had a difficult time selling SOA-focused projects to business decision makers. In this informative roundtable discussion, experts and practitioners will discuss the return on investment (ROI) that SOA delivers, and how this ROI can be documented and measured. In addition, the panel will explore other issues encountered when getting businesses to sign on to SOA projects, and how these obstacles can be overcome.

Dion Hinchcliffe will join the fun at 1:00 with a networking chat on his favorite theme: "Web-Oriented Architecture: The Future of SOA?"

Then, at 2:00 Eastern on the 28th, we will host a session on "SOA in Government: Changing the Game for Government IT", which will be moderated by Dave Chesebrough, president of AFEI. Dave will be joined by the CIO of the US Department of Defense, Dan Risacher, as well as the Navy's Matthew Schwartz.

How is government dealing with implementing SOA in what has always been a vertically oriented IT environment? This session presents case studies on SOA implementation from government agencies. SOA represents a game-changing paradigm shift for government. While it promises to deliver agility and cost savings, it also goes against the grain when considering how government has traditionally acquired information technology capabilities. This engaging case study session features discussion of policy, governance, acquisition and technology issues. Real-world issues surround the gradual shift towards services that complicate the planning and implementation. In government, nothing is ever thrown away and thus having services coexist with legacy systems is a major consideration.

Ed Horst of AmberPoint will wrap up Day 1 of the conference (3:00) with an informative discussion on the need to manage transactions that move through SOA and cloud-based composite applications. As Ed will explain, the inability to get a handle on these transactions as they are handed off from service to service could mean serious costs to the business.

With composite applications, transactions can fail inexplicably--lost somewhere in the network of application components. Business Transaction Management addresses this issue by tracking each of the transactions flowing across even complex distributed systems. This session will cover the challenges organizations face as they try to ensure transactions complete properly across composite applications. It will present practical approaches for transaction management and give real-world examples of how BTM reduces the cost and improves the business utility of SOA and composite applications.

On Day 2 of the conference (October 29th) Yefim Natis, featured VP distinguished analyst for Gartner, will keynote the day with a discussion on "SOA in the Real World - Advanced Practices Assure Advanced Results"  (11:00 a.m. Eastern):

The use of SOA principles in business application design continues to increase and with the growing experience the mainstream IT organizations are discovering the real benefits and the real limitations of SOA. While most IT planners face some disappointments and unmet expectations in the early stage of adoption of SOA, most still pragmatically evolve their use of SOA to advanced forms including complex event processing, SOA federation, context-awareness and integration with the Cloud.
Following Yafim's talk, Dave Linthicum will lead an industry roundtable on "The Convergence of Cloud Computing and SOA" (12:00 Eastern). He will be joined by Mike Kavis, a noted SOA and Enterprise Architecture consultant, and Ed Horst, vice president of product strategy at AmberPoint:

The movement to cloud computing is the 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, such as cloud computing, 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.This panel is your first step toward understanding the issues you will face as cloud computing and SOA converge, and how to open the company gates to nurture this IT Renaissance while still keeping the barbarians at bay.
At 1:00 of the second day, Dave Linthicum will lead a network chat on the convergence of SOA and cloud computing.

Finally, two powerhouses in the event processing space will round out the conference. Roy Schulte, VP at Gartner, will be joined by Dr. K. Mani Chandy, professor of computer science at the California Institute of Technology, and a pioneer of complex event processing will deliver a session on "Making SOA Better Through Continuous Analytics and Event Processing" (2:00 p.m. Eastern):

Traditional request-driven SOA design patterns can't handle the volume, responsiveness, and real-time information needs of some important business situations. A growing number of SOA projects are implementing event-driven architecture (EDA) for critical portions of their processing to provide the sense-and-respond behavior that companies increasingly need.
Roy and Mani will also present key findings from their new book, Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Attend this Webcast to be eligible to win a copy of the book -- five winners will be announced at the end of the Webcast.

At SOA in Action, you will hear leading experts and practitioners (not to mention yours truly!) discuss strategies and best practices for promoting and deploying SOA throughout the enterprise. Join us for an agenda packed full of sessions and panel discussions on the latest thinking in SOA -- October 28th and 29th.

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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