Leveraging SOA, BPM and EA for Strategic Business and IT Alignment

In today's enterprises, aligning business and IT to support business agility and transformation is essential. You can achieve this goal by applying SOA, BPM, and EA together in a synergistic fashion. This whitepaper describes key architecture and lifecycle principles to achieve that architectural convergence, and suggests adoption patterns based on the needs and maturity of an organization.

Claus Torp Jensen (ctjensen@us.ibm.com), Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM

Claus JensenClaus Torp Jensen is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Chief Architect for SOA-BPM-EA Technical Strategy at IBM in Somers, NY. He leads IBM's SOA Foundation team, working on the convergence of different architectural disciplines. Claus is a member of the WebSphere Foundation Architecture Board.

Prior to joining IBM, Claus had ten years of experience as a Chief Architect and SOA Evangelist.


developerWorks Contributing author
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Ian Charters (ian_charters@uk.ibm.com), Distinguished Engineer, IBM

Ian ChartersIan Charters is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Executive IT Architect in the AIM division of IBM Software Group in IBM UK. He is the IBM Worldwide Enterprise Architecture Community Leader.

You can reach Ian at ian_charters@uk.ibm.com.



Jim Amsden (jamsden@us.ibm.com), Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM

Jim AmsdenJim Amsden is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM, in Research Triangle Park, NC. He has over 20 years of experience in designing and developing applications and tools for the software development industry, and holds a Masters in Computer Science from Boston University.

Jim's interests include Enterprise Architecture, contract-based development, agent programming, business-driven development, Java™EE, UML, and service-oriented architectures. He is the co-author of Enterprise Java Programming with IBM WebSphere.

Jim's current focus is on finding ways to integrate tools to better support agile development processes. He is currently responsible for developing IBM Rational’s Enterprise Architecture strategy and tool support. You can reach Jim at jamsden@us.ibm.com.


developerWorks Contributing author
        level

Scott Darlington (sdarlington@ca.ibm.com), Senior Product Manager, IBM

Scott DarlingtonScott Darlington is a Senior Product Manager at IBM Rational in Ottawa, Ontario, where he is responsible for enterprise architecture. Prior to joining IBM, Scott worked for Rational Software Corporation, where he was a member of the product management team for the Rational Rose family of products.

Scott started his career building hardware at the Multiprocessor Research Group at the University of Waterloo before joining Bell-Northern Research to write software for digital switching systems. He holds two degrees, Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Mathematics, from University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

You can reach Scott at sdarlington@ca.ibm.com.



Martin Owen (martin.owen@uk.ibm.com), Senior Product Manager, IBM

Martin OwenMartin Owen is an IBM Senior Product Manager at IBM UK. He responsible for the strategy, requirements and delivery of IBM Rational's Enterprise Architecture (EA) tools. Martin is a TOGAF certified practitioner and has over 18 years experience in the EA field as a consultant and product and project manager.

Martin is a co-author of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). You can reach Martin at martin.owen@uk.ibm.com.



Eric Herness (herness@us.ibm.com), Distinguished Engineer, IBM

Eric HernessEric Herness is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and is the Chief Architect for Business Process Management (BPM) products in the AIM Division of IBM Sofware Group. He leads the team of architects that define BPM product architecture and direction.

Eric is a senior member of the WebSphere Foundation Architecture Board and a member of the Software Group Architecture Board Steering Committee.

You can reach Eric at herness@us.ibm.com.



Pablo Irassar (pirassar@ca.ibm.com), Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM

Pablo IrassarPablo Irassar is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the AIM Division of IBM Software Group, in Toronto, Ontario. He is a member of the WebSphere BPM Advanced Customer Deployments (SWAT) team.



04 December 2008

In today's enterprises, aligning business and IT to support business agility and transformation is essential. You can achieve this goal by applying SOA, BPM, and EA together in a synergistic fashion. This whitepaper describes key architecture and lifecycle principles to achieve that architectural convergence, and suggests adoption patterns based on the needs and maturity of an organization.

From the IBM Business Process Management Journal.

Summary

The alignment of business and IT, in order to support business agility and transformation, is one of the most important topics on today’s enterprise agenda. The compelling promise of each discipline of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the facilitation and acceleration of that alignment. However studies and experience suggest that even greater value can be gained through the architectural convergence of these three.

IBM believes that a long-term effective enterprise transformation is assisted by the application of SOA principles to BPM and EA in a synergistic fashion. Put simply, in a service-oriented environment the foundational SOA solution platform provides the IT solution design, BPM provides the business optimization and a framework for business solution development, and EA provides, and governs the implementation of, the master plan ensuring synergies across the enterprise.

Not all best practices apply equally well across a maturity continuum. For example using advanced best practices too early in an organization not yet able to exploit them may lead to frustration and inability to execute. On the other hand, a successfully initiated enterprise transformation can stall if the initial approach is not evolved as the program matures. A good understanding of adoption patterns, synergies and natural evolution paths across SOA, BPM and EA is a key foundation for guiding a business and IT alignment effort. The IBM platform supports and provides freedom to choose the right initial adoption pattern, gaining rapid value, yet is rich enough to carry long-term synergies as the scope and maturity of a transformation initiative expands over time.

Enhanced communication across business and IT is critical in order to succeed. Different communities need different tools and methods, each having different purposes, such as planning changes versus delivering solutions. While work products used for different purposes may possibly have similar graphical renderings, the different objectives for these work products leads to differences in target roles, tool capabilities and integration with other tools. Collaboration across the enterprise lifecycle is brought to life through shared principles and building blocks, which points to the need for a synergistic and integrated architectural platform. To meet these requirements the IBM platform integrates infrastructure, tools, methods and best practices.

This whitepaper describes the key architecture and lifecycle principles for the convergence of SOA, BPM and EA in support of a business and IT alignment platform. It also suggests natural adoption patterns depending on the most pressing needs and maturity of an organization. The primary audiences for the paper are architects and leaders involved in enterprise transformation activities and BPM solution delivery driven by SOA.

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