Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Roundup: More WOA, More Manageable Governance, More Pay for SOA

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The future belongs to WOA, or Web oriented architecture. So it's time to start moving service-oriented technology initiatives in this direction, or get left behind. That's the call from Matt Heinrichs, who just published a feature on the rise of WOA here at the ebizQ site.

With this comes a new form of challenges on a global scale, he says. "Most sites are no longer a standalone island of functionality, but a conglomeration of many disparate services, including analytics, geo-location, search, product catalogs, shipping, currency exchange, translation, social network sharing, and streaming. Previously, these functions were baked into each application that needed them. These are now calls to functionality that a dedicated team on the other side of the planet is spending their days and nights to provide."

Kelly Emo makes some solid points about the role of governance in controlling the explosion of information, data and services across organizations. She provides this advice when getting started: governance doesn't have to be a mega-enterprise endeavor in itself. "Much like breaking up a large challenge into a series of small steps, governance can start small," she says. "As you determine what you want to modernize, start to think about what policies are going to have the biggest impact on the project's success and start to codify those policies into an automated governance system to guide compliance...this can go a long way."

My colleague Peter Schooff also led a discussion on the skills that are paying off the most for SOA practitioners, in light of a recent Dice.com salary survey that shows IT professionals with "SOA" in their job descriptions are making 37% more than those with no SOA duties. Todd Biske pointed out that possibly, senior IT people are more likely to be engaged in SOA. He notes that companies are willing to pay a premium for IT professionals that understand SOA security technologies  (e.g. WS-Security, WS-Trust, X.509, SAML). Scott Morrison added that since SOA requires working with many stakeholders, good customer skills will alsways demand a premium.

Our resident decision-making technology expert, James Taylor, took a detour this week, exploring the issues around legacy modernization. He urges data centers to "replace hard-to-maintain COBOL with easier-to-maintain business rules." 

Janne Korhonen, in the meantime, continued his four-part series on this decade's IT challenges, with a discussion on the increasingly important role of enterprise architecture. The emerging extended enterprise requires a holistic approach to management with a framework that bridges the gap between IT and the business. "Once this holistic model of the organization is in place, however, it will enable flexible reassembly of processes, capabilities and services in new, innovative ways," he says. "BPM and SOA bridge the gap between the business processes and application landscape and EA provides visibility into the totality of organizational assets and interdependencies between architectural elements."

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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