Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), Web Services, Software as a Service (SaaS)..what do they all have in common when you go to a conference to hear about these topic areas? Mostly a bunch of technical conversations. Ask any CIO about SOA and she might look you in the face and tell you she has basic understanding of the topic area. In fact, she might turn around, these days and ask you "how does it relate to improving the performance of my business" or "before you starting rattling off a bunch of technologies, can you first tell me how much you know about my business". For every speech I've gone to about SOA, I frequently see presentors missing the true business context in the discussion. Frequently you hear about standards, governance, etc. In fact Jeff Schulman of Gartner was quoted in the press as saying "“We still need more work in tools, governance, re-usablity, and of course solid demonstrations of business benefit. When the business benefit angle—not just cost savings, but revenue enhancement and growth—is further demonstrated, SOA will take off more substantially.”
To assist businesses in better understanding the business value of SOA, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council has initiated a new Cluster group focused on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) from the pure business perspective. The cluster will focus on the best practice approach for the design and deployment of business software solutions, examining issues such as: How does the business benefit from SOA? How should this be justified based on longer term business innovation? How can they work with each other and with customers to be successful? How can customers work with the vendor community to insure that their requirements are met? The group will be structured as a dialog among software vendors, systems integrators, and customers.
The inaugural meeting of the SOA cluster will begin with a panel discussion that will feature representatives of major companies in New England who are at various stages of implementing SOA. These pioneers will discuss what has worked for them, lessons learned, challenges, opportunities, best practices, and how they have approached bringing business goals together with IT initiatives.
For details about attending this meeting please click on this link.