Are all SOAs created equally?
KerrieH 110000JQ5R Comment (1) Visits (5598)
I was speaking with some folks in the US government and the question of whether was asked, all SOAs are the same? Do they all provide the same value? Are all SOAs created equal? I pondered the question because it is insightful and a question worth exploring.
All SOAs are not the same, they are not created equally and they do not provide the same value. That is, what one deployment describes as an SOA implementation may offer different value than another. For example, I may deploy SOA technology (e.g., an Enterprise Service Bus or a registry) to improve integration flexibility. In one such implementation I might cause IT costs to rise because of the inability to share the infrastructure whereas in another deployment the shared infrastructure was addressed as a benefit to be achieved. In this simple example we see that the two ESB implementations provide different business values in the areas of cost.
Achieving business process flexibility is different than providing integration flexibility. Hence, an SOA deployment might address and provide integration flexibility without providing business process flexibility.
Different business goals (e.g., time to market, lower development costs or lower IT Costs or business flexibility) have both different metrics and require different SOA deployments. That is, the people, process and technology changes are different based on which motivation and goal is sought.
All too often we use platitudes to describe business goals with a measurable understanding of what the goal actually means and how is it actually achieved. Flexibility is the poster child for this platitude thinking. But we can define flexibility, we can measure it and we can achieve it. SOA can make a huge difference.