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What about the business end of SOA?, part 2

This is the continuation of Ron and Jason's answer to What about the business side of SOA?
Furthermore, service orientation promises the business agility that companies need to achieve the long-desired goals of re-engineering. However, there is only a promise, and no guarantee. We can architect the technology for change, but changing the people is another matter altogether. The greatest change management challenge facing organizations today is the breaking down of the business/technology dichotomy. Now more than ever, business people must be tech-savvy, and techies must be business-savvy.

Such change doesn't happen overnight. People are naturally resistant to change, and some are more resistant than others. It is absolutely essential, however, that companies foster increasing numbers of specialists who are both business- and tech-savvy. First are the enterprise architects, who must maintain a broad picture of the structure of the entire extended enterprise, including both business and technology. (ZapThink has discussed the role of the enterprise architect in one of its ZapFlashes). Second are the business analysts, who are tech-savvy business people who understand the intricacies of business processes and are able to translate business requirements into process changes and service descriptions. The business analyst role has been a nebulous one up to this point at many companies, where many individuals with the title have little if any tech-savviness. In the service-oriented world, however, companies will need business analysts who can work with architects to define services and incorporate them into service-oriented processes.

There is a common misconception that SOA governance is governance of an SOA, as though SOA were one more IT asset in need of governance in the organization. That belief, however, indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of SOA. Fundamentally, SOA is enterprise architecture -- when an enterprise adopts SOA, it should approach the organization of all of its IT assets from an SO perspective. As such, service orientation provides a broad organizing principle for all aspects of IT in the company -- including IT governance. That's why we say SOA governance is IT governance in the context of SOA, rather than governance of SOA.

Furthermore, SOA requires a reorganization of IT personnel and the users of IT into domains. The need for governance highlights the importance of such re-engineering, but is not its cause. On the contrary, the need to break down silos and organize a company's efforts based upon the core needs of the business is as old as the term "re-engineering" suggests. SOA enables the enterprise to organize IT functionality into services that meet the needs of the business, finally enabling companies to achieve the long-desired business goals of breaking down silos and focusing on the needs of the business and the customer.

This is really quite short space to answer these questions, but we hope this helps. This is also the business that ZapThink is in, and these are the precise questions we seek to answer, so keep an eye on our research and advisories!

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