Just read a great post on “The Future of SOA” from our CTO, Vishal Sikka. Thought I would take a moment to describe how we on the BPM team think about SOA, a topic that is intimately related to BPM.
Firstly, I won’t go into a long definition of SOA, but will focus on what I believe is its core value proposition: IT agility. I say this because the people that directly benefit from agile landscapes are IT folks (the people who directly leverage services). Business people take pictures of landscapes; they don’t diagram or think deeply about them.
As I’ve said before, SAP NW BPM is focused on executable processes. To my mind, the business and IT will always have to collaborate on the creation of executable processes. To the extent that IT can quickly respond to business requirements, the business is an indirect beneficiary of SOA. However, the big payoff from SOA comes when it is used to support business agility. To me, that means that you haven’t gotten SOA “right” unless these efforts result in agility for the business. I would also say (of course) that the quickest, most sustainable approach to business agility is BPM as a discipline. Going forward, I expect SOA implementations to be assessed based on their ability to support BPM.
As it evolves, NW BPM will become one of the premium consumers of SAP’s extensive portfolio of Enterprise Services, significantly contributing to the value proposition of SAP’s SOA strategy.