|By John Crupi||
|September 19, 2007 06:00 PM EDT||
Ok, ok, it's an overstatement. But the ROI of SOA is difficult, at best, to define and measure. Have you noticed that the press and blogosphere is filled with SOA implementers/analysts discussing the ROI of SOA and the idea that stand-alone SOA efforts are DOA? For a small snapshot of this teacup tempest, look no further than the recent commentary from SOA expert David Linthicum, the Nucleus Report on SOA ROI, and the subsequent commentary from ZDNet's Joe McKendrick and IT advisors Neil Macehiter and Neil Ward-Dutton.
While these experts differ on issues like the importance of SOA ROI, how to calculate SOA ROI (if at all), and why we don't have more/better of it, they all seem to agree on one thing: 'Enterprise-wide support for SOA hinges on the ability to demonstrate value to the business at large — more growth, revenue opportunities, and all that good stuff.' (Joe's words, not mine.) And that's where your job is at stake. Or, at least, the long-term support of your SOA efforts.
SOAs need to change this inward-focused quality. To paraphrase Macehiter/Ward-Dutton in their recent note, 'More big vs small thinking: SOA vs BPM', IT must focus on where the real business value of SOA lies. That means it needs help. Macehiter/Ward-Dutton point out that BPM can help distill some SOA value up to the business level. And as one of the early implementers of Enterprise Ajax, JackBe knows from extensive first-hand experience that Ajax makes a great service consumer.
To this collection of SOA-complimenting tools I'd add the enterprise mashup. JackBe has found in its enterprise mashup implementations that they can actually drag the SOA out of the proverbial IT basement and onto the end-user's desks. It's not only highly visible, but it's user-driven, giving IT a way fulfill the promise of SOA and enhance that elusive SOA ROI.
As a practical guy I like definitive examples. Luckily, we've already seen a number of very real synergies from the mashup/SOA combination. Just a few of them include:
- Mashups can help create normalized 'virtual' services from sources that haven't been 'SOAed' yet. It's no secret that SOA efforts can take years. Until the formal SOA magic has been applied, a quick, standardized service can help users get started earlier than otherwise.
- Mashups let users 'right-size' the granularity of services. Now IT doesn't have to guess/study/analyze whether a service offers data that is 'too specific', 'too general', 'too dated', or 'too cold'.
- Mashups let users share their resulting services, making them a part of the service-generating network. Now IT doesn't have to do it alone.
- Mashups let end-users visualize the SOA in graphs, charts, tables, maps, etc. Instead of hoping the aging corporate portal has a place/way to get services visualized in the way(s) the users want , users can each do it themselves to meet their own ever-changing needs.
- Mashups let users join in data from outside the enterprise. Today's SOA efforts are largely inwardly-focused. But users often want to include external data in their work. Mashups don't care and good mashup software makes the actual location of a data service irrelevant.
SOA is still relatively new. Enterprise Mashups are, urguably, even newer. So you are likely just getting your Enterprise Mashup mojo going. But if SOA is on your enterprise to-do list, make sure you get Enterprise Mashups on that plan as well. It may not cost you your job, but it could move your SOA from 'questionable' to 'successful'.
|9837aafc15e1 05/10/08 03:44:05 AM EDT|
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|Rakesh Saha 10/09/07 09:30:38 PM EDT|
Very good to see the your vision for enterprise mashup and soa convergence.
I am an enterprise mashup enthusiastic. But also little skeptical about the the level of acceptance enterprise mashup will have when the thorny issues like security , reliability and governance will be raised.
|SOA News Desk 09/18/07 12:45:07 PM EDT|
While these experts differ on issues like the importance of SOA ROI, how to calculate SOA ROI (if at all), and why we don't have more/better of it, they all seem to agree on one thing: 'Enterprise-wide support for SOA hinges on the ability to demonstrate value to the business at large - more growth, revenue opportunities, and all that good stuff.' (Joe's words, not mine.) And that's where your job is at stake. Or, at least, the long-term support of your SOA efforts.
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- The OpenAjax Technology Vision: Accelerating Customer Success with AJAX
- A Compelling Ajax Discussion in New York City
- SOA World Expo: Enterprise Mashup Services
- Coach Wei's "Direct From Web 2.0" Blog: The Converging Developer Community
- Implementing SOA Without Enterprise Mashups? You Might As Well Kiss Your Job Goodbye!