Introducing SOA IT organization2016.02.26
Service Oriented Architecture is an architectural approach providing efficient realization of IT investments thanks to promoting modularity and re-usability of functionalities exposed as business services. But how to introduce & leverage this architecture style to achieve the target state promised by SOA?
It’s not about installing specific technology (like ESB). Organization needs to transform it’s IT to the SOA IT in order to use a full spectrum of capabilities offered by SOA architecture.
Foundations of SOA
Organizations owning large application portfolios struggle with permanent increase of delivery times for required business changes and increasing costs of IT. It’s a result of the growing complexity of IT systems landscape, caused by traditional approach to the IT architecture. The realized projects rarely go beyond the boundaries of business unit where they’re run. It results in growth of the information silos that are integrated on the level of IT systems and not on the business model level. The integration on the level of IT system, which has been practiced in IT for many years, leads to the exponential growth of IT architecture complexity and thereby to the mentioned problems in the projects and significant increase of IT costs.
Nowadays it becomes a standard to leave behind the mentioned model of investments and to build the Service Oriented Architecture that promotes integration on the level of business model. SOA naturally eliminates the problem of improper functional decomposition (IT architecture complexity) allowing to reuse already built IT components (implementation of a Business Service). Application of SOA considerably shortens business changes delivery times and costs.
Organizations that plan for introduction of SOA need to carefully plan the transformation process specicfically in terms of realizing and integrating the new initiatives & applications and migration of legacy and currently maintained systems to the new architecture.
The goals of SOA transformation
Starting the path of SOA, organization should think of setting the goals both in the IT and the business areas. These may include the following:
- Support for creating new business processes
- Support for changing the business model
- Improvement of organization’s business agility
- Re-use of the elements of the business model
- Reduction of IT delivery times
- Improvement in overall functioning of IT (Governance)
- Reduction of IT components’ TCO
- Rationalization of current IT components
- Improvement of IT productivity
Transforming IT architecture into SOA
Introduction of SOA in the organization results in many changes in the IT and Business areas. It’s a long-term project and it requires a good preparation, especially in these organizations that have a large application portfolios. In order to successfully introduce SOA attention should be drawn to all implementation perspectives. It’s often missed by the organizations that limit their understanding of the concept only to the technology perspective (SOA Suite, ESB) and many times it results in project failure. SOA transformation project should include all the implementation perspectives and should aim for enabling their integration on the level of Business and IT.
Conducting such program, Organization should focus on these key areas:
- SOA Maturity Model (SMM) –a framework to assess the current organization maturity in the context of SOA, mark the target maturity level and create the plan of migration to the target SOA level.
- SOA Governance Framework (SGF) – framework providing proven solutions, standards, the best SOA management practices, to allow rapid integration with the current corporate and IT governance.
- Service Oriented Enterprise Architecture Framework (SOEAF) –a framework providing elements supporting the process of establishing enterprise architecture, IT solutions architecture and implementation of IT investments in SOA paradigm.
- SOA Legacy Transformation (SLT) –a method enabling migration of legacy systems to SOA architecture.
The key products of Service Oriented Architecture transformation
The key products of SOA Transformation that guarantees the promise of SOA, should include :
- Introduction of SOA governance model tailored to the organization
- A method of IT investment realization
- SOA Reference Architecture
- SOA-enabled legacy or current operation supporting systems
- Business model integration
- Enterprise Architecture aligned with SOA
- Vendor relationship management (VRM) model aligned with SOA
- Deployed SOA technology – SOA Suite