Thanks to Joe McKendrick I found a great post on the Financial Times by Kaushal Mashruwala called SOA strategy and execution is failing in many companies. The article discusses how companies are struggling with the value proposition of SOA and how the business tends to shy away from the next big IT buzzword.
One key reason is that the SOA value proposition is fundamentally unimportant to business people. It’s just another way to implement an application.
The article goes on to recommend combining BPM with SOA to give real value to the business.
Give business people a reason to care about SOA—give them BPM. It gives many businesses an approach that balances the architectural benefits of SOA against the cultural shift that business people are demanding.
I have been singing this tune for quite some time now (Selling SOA to the business). Many fellow EA bloggers called me out on my article saying that it does not make sense to talk to the business about SOA and that Top Down SOA is the only way to go. I disagree. There is no single way or silver bullet for delivering SOA as I mentioned in SOA Theory vs. Reality. I sold the business on SOA by explaining to them in business terms how SOA is the technology that enables BPM. The business understands BPM and how process reengineering and optimization can eliminate waste, improve customer and employee satisfaction, and provide visibility into the the state and health of business processes.
As a matter of fact, we were so successful in selling BPM with SOA that when the CEO announced the top 5 initiatives for the next three years, Business Processing Reengineering made the list. The company is now investing in training, tools, and various key initiatives which will leverage BPM and SOA. Without the link to BPM, none of this would have been possible. Like Kaushal mentions at the end of his post, if we had not combined BPM with SOA, our SOA would be SOL!
I will be sharing our story at Zapthink's Practical SOA conference next month.
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