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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Roundup: Atypical Top-10 List, Governance Gaffes, Explaining EA

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As the new year kicks into high gear, there's been a lot of SOA discussions and debates raging here at ebizQ.

It should be noted that it's been, incredibly enough, two years since Anne Thomas Manes' game-changing declaration that "SOA is Dead: Long Live Services." Many though this marked the decline of SOA as a viable approach to managing and wringing value out of business technology. But a funny thing happened. SOA is not over; it has only begun to reshape the way we look at business technology.  Emphasis on the business part.

For the record, Burton Group (now a part of Gartner) came out with a report a couple of months ago that contends that the climate for SOA is more favorable, especially with the emergence of cloud computing.

John Crupi, the enterprise mashup king, had some interesting predictions about the shape of things to come, from Apple introducing an "iCloud" offering to a lot of developments in the "real-time" space. He predicts that we'll see Gartner and Forrester will get into a legal tussle over the use of the term "Real-Time Intelligence," and Oracle rebranding its entire product line with the "Real-Time" moniker. A great read, especially for those tired of "Top 10" lists. 

Dave Linthicum, long a proponent of bringing business sensibilities to any SOA equation, reminds us that SOA is about people and processes, not technology. "People and processes are first thing on the list to get under control before you begin to toss technology at this problem."

Speaking of governance, that's what Steve Minsky says was lacking within BP's reporting structure when it sullied the entire Gulf of Mexico last summer. A well-tuned enterprise risk management system may have kept the Gulf clean.

Adrian Grigoriu asks an interesting question: "What happens when the EA function does not produce an EA?" Answer: "the EA function can only run arbitrarily. And that's happening so often today." 

Finally, Peter Schooff kicked of a rousing discussion on how to sell CEOs on EA. Thomas Culpepper said he would "sit the CEO down and lay out the blueprints for a rather large building structure," and relate this to enterprise architecture.

Jignesh Shah, however, said EA is often misguide. "The scope implied by EA is nebulous, misguided or plain inflated.... Such claims are bound to be met with confusion or skepticism.... EA would benefit by narrowing its focus to 'Strategic IT planning', nothing more, nothing less."

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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