SOA and what it means to Business

Technology is changing at a rapid pace in the current business environment and businesses have to make sure that their technology implementations support the latest IT trends but only those which are absolutely needed to boost their business and provide greater return on investments. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a latest trend which promises to solve various problems and ease of monitoring and achieve higher degree of success in different aspects in the business line.

SOA and Business Performance

So the question here is why companies are making SOA more prominent in everyday needs when talking about their processes. We need to think it as a Business-driven Architectural style and a full organizational structure instead of plotting it as one big entity focusing on a specific scenario. We need to think in terms of business and apply the needs by thinking IT. Business and IT collaboration is a must, when climbing stairs towards a true SOA platform and it will be very hard to get the requirements necessary to drive the proper process definitions if they don’t work with each other closely. In fact, the first thing a business needs to achieve SOA is to know the enterprise and slowly modeling down the processes and their interactions. Once it is achieved, we can link it to the technology. All this is a deep down approach and needs to be carefully executed.

SOA is a top-down approach which means we should arrive at the problem first leading to architecture and then solution. Today, many organizations tend to announce to achieve a true SOA platform but in fact if we look closely, only few would have implemented the basis of SOA or have just started. The base problem for SOA failure in any organization lies in the fact that they look to adopt new technologies without thinking if it will benefit them in their current and future business needs. This is what we call a bottom-up approach and can be a major factor for SOA failure.

Monitoring, modeling and development of business processes by utilizing various latest IT trends is the key to SOA. We can see various vendors mixing the terms SOA, BPM, BAM but in fact BPM, BAM, etc are the parts of SOA. A common thought, that using Web Services and assuming that it will fix all issues and will somehow lead to an SOA platform is completely wrong. Broadly speaking, the path should be from the service layer to the resource layer and not opposite. This approach should be avoided, instead a thorough understanding and knowledge of business processes should be in place along with IT trends to achieve true SOA nirvana.

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