Thursday, 16 October 2008
Service Oriented Architecture the solution for IT agility?
Many IT organizations and consultancy firms claim that service oriented architecture and service oriented computing is the solution for enterprises to enhance the agility of their IT architecture. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a method for systems development and integration where functionality is grouped around business processes and packaged as interoperable services. SOA also describes IT infrastructure which allows different applications to exchange data with one another as they participate in business processes.
One of the challenges for SOA is posed by the inheritance of old legacy systems. Most companies use SOA as an additional layer of code superimposed on the existing layers of the IT architecture. This means that it is possible that a process will fail at some point due to some fault in the layers below, and in order to understand and fix that problem, software engineers will need to deal with the layers of enterprise applications below the modular business processes enabled by SOA. As with ERP systems, complexity remains a challenge. As software grows more complex, reusability becomes a difficult or impossible task – also for Lego-like pieces of code from enterprise systems.
A service-oriented architecture can also be used to move much of the control of the business process to business managers and engineers (if combined with business process management tools) and empower individuals in the organization (via Web 2.0 tools). Combining these different approaches brings agility to the individual.
Service Oriented Architecture Wikipedia
Some opinions in the market:
Cristopher Koch blog on SOA and IT agility (CIO.COM)
Enterprise 2.0 enables business agility
SOA, Business Rule Management and Business Agility (IBM)
SOA architecture for ING Card (Open Group)