At IMPACT 2009 on Day 1, it is all about our customers and their success stories. We just heard from our customer, Russell Irwin of Standard Life talk about his company's soa journey and I thought it would be great to get a follow up Q & A to glean more insights.
Sandy: You have a world-famous story on the value of reuse in an SOA environment. Can you start by giving us a few numbers?
Russell: To date our SOA has realised a value of £26M pounds, around $40M dollars. This is objective and conservative. It represents the value of our SOA approach over the cost of alternatives in development terms. We have not included the additional operational savings yet in our metrics. In Standard Life we sometimes debate the size of the saving, but not whether the saving is real. It is growing, the measures are all moving in the right direction. We log and measure through our software Framework and accompanying Infrastructure, so here come the numbers !
To date (August 2004 - March 2009) 227 service consuming apps in production
569 services in the catalog, where a service has to mean something to the business e.g. ‘Provide Customer Information’ is a valid service, while ‘Fetch Parm7 Yabba-Dabba Doo’ is not
Service re-use is consistently running at around 50%
~1.25 million service calls per day,
~ 300 SOA developers
1493 instances of reuse (where a service is used > once)
Multiplied by the cost of developing a typical bespoke service means £26 million sterling / nearly $40 million dollars
Or 2500 Honda Civics, or 200,000 fruit-based MP3 player-pods...
Sandy: Can you tell us how your SOA deployment has evolved over time?
Russell: We have been actively committed to SOA for 10 years. We started by getting the governance model, technology patterns, Software Framework, roles & responsibilities clear. We then began our work with some simple, but popular, services to illustrate the benefits of the approach and secure advocation and support from colleagues in Development and Business areas. The governance model has remained consistent throughout, so the costs to run our SOA remain fairly constant while the throughput and traffic has grown strongly. This offers exceptional efficiency gearing across our work. We now have an engaged community of some 300 developers who are very supportive of the overall governance and supporting patterns.
Sandy: What recommendations would you have to companies just starting their implementation of SOA?
Russell: In summary, smart SOA is working ! If you have already started your SOA journey, stick with it. If you have not started, start small with some services you know will get used, they don’t have to be the holy grail, think of the high volume traffic. Adopt a rigorous approach with strong SOA leadership and robust technology patterns. Measure as much as you can and report business value to your sponsor, not architectural purity. Report those measures in terms that your business will appreciate. Celebrate success ! Choose your technology partner carefully. And be clear on your governance model, roles and responsibilities throughout.
Sandy: What do you see in the future for Std. Life in terms of its involvement with SOA?
Russell: Smart SOA is working. We are committed to it. It has been a great success for us in the UK and we can now look to share the approach in our other markets.
Russell, what a great SOA success story and so happy to have you here at IMPACT! Thanks.