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Editor's note: Read Part I of this article here.

Addressing the challenges

Quite a few SOA initiatives use the technologies around SOA with a focus towards integration. This is just another way of doing EAI -- which could be better, or less efficient based on the nature of the applications involved.

Based on our experience, I feel that benefits from an SOA initiative are maximized when approached as a means to transform business to a real time enterprise. This can only be brought about by a business involvement that goes beyond being superficial, where the business stakeholders have a keen awareness of what is expected along with a commitment to take it forward and see it through.

What is a real time enterprise?

Real time enterprises have:

  • automated value chains enabled by an integrated process infrastructure that could include the whole supply chains or include only functions in the boundary of the enterprise
  • an ability to determine the tactical actions, at real time, based on changing business rules and policies relevant at that time
  • a deep insight into the workings of the business with an ability to take actions, at real time, based on current business indications

Choice of enablers and the extent of its implementation will depend on determined success factors and the dynamics that govern the business paradigm. However, the benefits a "BPM," a "BRM"or a "BAM" can bring in isolation, will improve exponentially when put into operations concurrently.

Transforming business to a real time enterprise

Transforming business to a real time enterprise requires for all factors -- people, business and technology -- to come together to create a synergized environment while the governance processes ensure that these elements continue to take SOA maturity to the next level.

Ensure sponsorship

To see that the initiative goes underway and attains its goals, securing executive sponsorship is most important. An awareness of what SOA brings in terms of cultural change needs to be created as well.


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