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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA and BPM Roundup: Social Enterprises, Good Governance, Multi-Dimensional Architects

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Much of the discussion occurring in the ebizQ ecosphere in recent weeks has been evolving around new ways to manage organizations, employing the new tools and thinking arising out of BPM, service orientation and social media.

Dion Hinchliffe, the industry's most renowned deep thinker on all things socially collaborative, provides a definition of the emerging "social enterprise," which includes a social network-driven workplace culture in which employees interact over Facebook or Facebook-style networks, greater transparency in work and projects, greater insights and analysis thanks to all the social network data now available.  Positive benefits from a more social enterprise include automatic identification and location of experts, a more relevant, streamlined information flow, and more efficient connection of processes, knowledge flow, and people.

Of course, a social enterprise relies on clouds, both public and private. A private cloud may be a very idealistic and compelling idea, but someone has to keep it running up to par -- which requires good old-fashion IT expertise. Russell Rothstein tackled this issue in his latest post, providing insights on dealing with the top service delivery issues that you need to handle in a private or hybrid cloud -- such as performance, chargebacks, and business alignment.

Forrester Research Analyst Derek Miers spoke with ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff about the role of process governance, which will help engage business owners with BPM efforts. Process governance answers questions such as: "Who owns it and how does it report in? Who's going to sponsor it? Where is it positioned in the organization? How is it budgeted? How is it directed? How is it going to engage the different business units or lines of business?"

These are many of the same issues that have needed to be addressed in SOA and now, cloud, efforts in recent years.   

Peter also engaged readers with a raging discussion on the new role of the enterprise architect, asking if it's time for a "new generation" of architects more aware of the complexities of networks and security. JP Morgenthal observes that "expectations have mushroomed for EAs to have deep technical knowledge when they should be the architect of the intersection of business and technology," and makes a call for "multi-dimensional" architects who can tackle a range of business problems. Jordan Braunstein worries about the next generation of architects, wondering: "How are we preparing, mentoring the next generation of EA's? Or, are we protecting our job security for now?"

Still, we need to worry about the urgent needs of today. Michael Poulin posted a thoughtful piece on why it's sometimes hard to catch terrorists and other bad guys, and ties this back to the nature of the services we create to help accomplish these ends. Sometimes, service-oriented systems are caught up in satisfying procedural requirements, rather than the ultimate business (or national) goal.



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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