When you’re coming to implement SOA for the first time you probably focused on the application and technology aspects, but as you drill deeper and deeper into it you’ll found out that going through SOA is actually changing every aspect that your IT department is working. I personally think that we shouldn’t call it SOA any more, That’s IT 2.0!
If you split IT into four main domains you’ll find out that each domain will be changed once you start to implement SOA. In the business domain you’ll experience changes in the way that you model the business as well as need for more deeply involvement of business side of the enterprise in the work that you are doing. SOA will also introduce new roles with new skills that you’ll need to adopt as well as new training models for your customers. And last but not least SOA introduce new concepts such as SaaS and Cloud Computing that might infect the business and the way your IT is working.
I didn’t start from the business by chance. The reason that I did it is because I believe that the business is the cause for SOA, although not from the reason that you’re thinking right now. As far as I can see it the business will be perform with or without systems. It has been done in the past (and I know several good examples even today J ). With or without IT businesses are using information to do their work. IT helps organization to manage and process information more efficiently.
Business are complicated and dynamic and they become more and more complicate and dynamic. So if IT manage information and information derived from the business any change in the business reflects IT. I believe that we can see this influence over the time. We had few major changes in IT, from Main Frames to Clients Server model, WEB application and now … Yep, SOA. What I found out is that those IT waves are consist efforts of the IT to manage to solve the business problems, but without any real success.
One of the lessons that we need to learn from that is the need to better know our enterprise information. We need to model this information into conceptual and logical models, we need to agree with business guys who is responsible for information, we need to set which information should be available 24*7, we need to agree who can see and manipulate Information. But the most important one is the need to understand that Information is the basic building blocks for our IT work.
It goes without saying that there are many changes in the way that we’re designing, developing and maintaining applications. New design methodologies should be in place both for analysis and designing of systems, as well as developing methodologies of systems. The technology domain introduce new technologies needed to support SOA, such as ESB or SOA metadata technologies. SOA also introduce new demands that out IT infrastructure should take in account, like our cooperate bandwidth.
There are also changes in what I call 3rd dimension aspect such as the way we’re doing governance, being complaint to law and regulation, enforcing security and many other policies.
I didn’t went through all of the changes but it clear enough that we can call it IT 2.0. if this change is so fundamental it probably very hard to be done. Well, that’s true and this is the right place to mention Enterprise Architecture as a tool that might help you. Want to learn more about it? Come to hear me on the upcoming “The Open Group” convention in Glasgow.