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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

BPM: The 'Business Face' of SOA

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Give businesspeople a reason to care about SOA, give them business process management. I want to call out an article written exactly two years ago by Kaushal Mashruwala in the Financial Express. Kaushal made a lot of sense, and makes even more sense now, because BPM is a strategy that business executives and managers identify with very closely (as the success of their jobs depends upon it).

SOA has had its share of issues with business acceptance -- or even awareness, for that matter. As Jack vanHoof put it not too long ago: "I haven't meet one single business manager who begged me to please deliver him an SOA-based solution." All too often, Kaushal points out, SOA is seen as a buzzword, and, to a large degree, "just another way to implement an application."

However, add BPM to the mix, and infusing it with SOA, business managers will have more power to change, through technology, the way their businesses are run, he observes.

"The management philosophy of BPM empowers business people to think about the processes that affect their day-to-day lives and operations.It gives them a new role in defining requirements, on their terms, and creates a common language for business and IT to address real implementation level concerns. This role of BPM as the business face of  SOA is not just a possibility. It's happening now."
Perhaps we won't have to force the issue of fusing SOA and BPM, it may be occurring naturally. BPM, SOA, and Enterprise Architecture may be all the same thing underneath in the long run anyway. As Richard Lendvai commented, "It's architecture, period." He goes on to add that "architecture in general is about the enterprise's capability to work in an orderly manner, be specific in designs end to deliver results to the business. It has little to do with

modelling, paradigms and other hype-stuff."

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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