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.

From the IBM Business Process Management Journal.


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