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SOA encourages the Reuse of services to avoid duplicative effort and to save time and money. Services should be created with a broad view of how they may be used across the organization, not just in a single project. Reuse also addresses taking exiting IT assets and service enabling them to preserve legacy investments and the reuse of services from external providers. Policy Creation, Implementation, and Management

SOA Governance establishes through Policy and Rules who’s in charge. This allows the owners of services to offer them while maintaining their authority, for example, over making changes to the service. It differentiates between the roles of owners and participants as well as giving operational responsibility for certain functions to IT, even if authority over the process the service creates remains in a business unit.

All of this occurs with an SOA Lifecycle which defines the methodology for SOA projects from modeling the business processes and services that will support them, to assembling the services into a composite application, to deploying these services into a robust environment with appropriate monitoring and managing of key It resources (such as system performance) and business metrics (such as customer satisfaction), all in the context of SOA Governance and best business and IT practices.

SOA Governance Approaches:

There are many ways to approach SOA Governance. Some companies start with SOA Governance and plan and implement their projects under its guidance and control. Others start with the need to restructure or create a business process and consider the subject of SOA Governance only when they realize that managing multiple SOA projects requires a new kind of oversight and coordination. Still others start with IT Governance in place and extend it into SOA Governance as a natural growth of their development environment.

In the five case studies in this white paper, we present three real companies who are implementing SOA today (but who agreed to be described rather than named) and two synthetic customers, created to better describe SOA experiences in combinations that have not yet occurred.

Coordinating SOA Projects in a Major Car Manufacturer

As a program manager for Customer Order Entry, our interviewee at this major car manufacturer had added duties in SOA as his organization had started using this new methodology. The enterprise is currently focusing on two SOA projects to get started. The whole thing came together from two separate efforts.

  • A project to get information from the vehicle business to partners and customers more easily and quickly. The vehicle side wanted to get inventory information to partners to keep things in sync and get sales information moved around. A customer business unit had a similar problem getting data. They recognized they were trying to accomplish the same thing and decided to get together and select a single solution. At this stage, the group thinks of themselves as “working toward SOA,” a common attitude, as organizations expect SOA to be a destination, a place you arrive at after you’ve achieved some set of milestones, rather than an ongoing journey. Of course, with a project in production, into its second release, and deemed a success, we’d be happy to confer SOA status on them.

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October 18, 2006

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