SOA: The New Information Infrastructure
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There are some themes I hear over and over again here at the Information on Demand Conference are consistent and straightforward: Information is a strategic asset, organizations need to create new value from information, yet so many companies still live in the land of legacy stovepipes.
Yes, imagine your information infrastructure as a set of disconnected, "Castaway"-like, vertical islands of information, where one chimney doesn't know what the other is doing, because they're not connected and have no way of communicating and sharing information.
Put another way, our inflexible physical and IT infrastructures are providing insufficient access to valuable information, which, if they were better structured to facilitate improved sharing of data across the enterprise, could lead to valuable business insights and new innovation.
All this according to 450 CFOs we surveyed in a recent study.
Which is where the service-oriented architecture -- and Robert LeBlanc, GM of our Application and Integration Middleware team -- come in.
In his keynote earlier today, Mr. LeBlanc attempted to demystify SOAs.
The business drivers are simple: It's a fast-changing world but many companies don't have infrastructures quite so flexible.
CXOs need to be able to change their operational processes more quickly, get a real time view of their operations in...well, just that, real-time. And then, intervene as necessary so that they can realize results quickly.
SOA is the enabling information infrastructure. Simply put, an SOA is a style of IT architecture that supports integrating your key business processes as linked services, where information can be shared, updated, and accessed.
In other words, SOA enables dynamic interchange between people, process and information.
But, why is this necessary?
Because, business needs to stop looking in the rearview mirror, and instead become more predictive in nature. If businesses have poor information, they are likely to act on that information and, hence, make poor decisions.
And that's bad, very bad. Period. End of sentence. Bad quarter. Hang out the "Out of Business" sign.
We'd much prefer you had a great year and connected all those islands.
So, to learn more about SOA go here, or if you're really in a hurry, take our SOA Assessment. In true SOA fashion, you'll get real-time results as to your own company's SOA readiness. And hopefully, some good information for a change.
As for me, I'm off to learn more about how New York's finest are leveraging IBM information on demand technologies to help put away the bad guys.