Editor's Note: Anyone interested in where SOA is at today and where it's going in the future must attend ebizQ's upcoming SOA in Action Virtual Conference coming this November 19th. Sign up here.
Service oriented architecture (SOA) technologies and approaches are typically
thought of as IT-focused solutions. Essentially, SOA is an elegant (hopefully)
technical solution to IT problems, not business problems.
However, at the same time that SOA is really a technical issue, many organizations
are implementing, or considering implementing, SOA solutions in response to
specific business needs -- such as the requirement for more flexible and agile
IT solutions, more dynamic business processes, and faster time-to-market for
applications. As a result, SOA implementations are, in the end, driven by a
combination of business and technical drivers.
Since SOA is generally considered a technical issue, some IT organizations
and leaders try to keep SOA concepts and ideas within the IT realm. In fact,
some SOA advocates suggest that it's better not to bother the business community
with SOA-instead, just let the IT community focus on it.
However, there's another approach, one that a number of organizations are having
good success with. And that's the opposite approach. Instead of hiding SOA concepts
from the business community, some IT organizations are stepping up and involving
the business community in their SOA rollout -- not just be keeping them in the
loop or revealing all the nitty-gritty details of how SOA services work, but
by helping the rest of the organization understand the value of services and
how the SOA process works.
In other words, articulating the value of SOA to business executives, from
a business perspective, in language they understand. The more a business community
reuses a service, the more they'll realize the benefits of the architecture.
So it's important that both IT and business leaders can speak the same (high-level)
language. Let the business leaders understand how much the company can save
by not doing the same redundant development, or how much more value (or speed)
can be obtained by standardizing business intelligence capabilities or services.
In effect, educating the business executives is a key component of a good SOA
program, because it gets buy-in support and helps the business leaders understand
how the IT group's SOA initiative helps achieve their specific business objectives.
When this approach is done right, in many cases you'll find that the business
personnel will actually start to help IT identify areas and opportunities where
services can be reused.
About the Author
David Kelly - With twenty years at the cutting edge of enterprise infrastructure,
David A. Kelly is ebizQ's Community Manager for Optimizing Business/IT Management. This category includes IT governance, SOA governance,and compliance, risk management, ITIL, business service management,registries and more.
As Community Manager, David will blog and podcast to keep the ebizQ
community fully informed on all the important news and breakthroughs
relevant to enterprise governance. David will also be responsible for
publishing press releases, taking briefings, and overseeing vendor
submitted feature articles to run on ebizQ. In addition, each week,
David will compile the week's most important news and views in a
newsletter emailed out to ebizQ's ever-growing Governance community.
David Kelly is ideally suited to be ebizQ's Governing the
Infrastructure Community Manager as he has been involved with
application development, project management, and product development
for over twenty years. As a technology and business analyst, David has
been researching, writing and speaking on governance-related topics
for over a decade.
David is an expert in Web services, application development, and
enterprise infrastructures. As the former Senior VP of Analyst
Services at Hurwitz Group, he has extensive experience in translating
the implications of new application development, deployment, and
management technologies into practical recommendations for enterprise
customers. He's written articles for Computerworld, Software Magazine,
the New York Times, and other publications, and spoken at conferences
such as Comdex, Software Development, and Internet World. With
expertise ranging from application development to enterprise
management to integration/B2B services to IP networking and VPNs,
Kelly can help companies profit from the diversity of a changing
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