The main function of SOA is to move company ITs from an outdated system architecture, based on autonomous applications tightly coupled together by custom integration processes, to a modern type of architecture, developed on independent services, which are loosely coupled, using standards-based messaging. SOA improves IT infrastructure by making it less expensive but much more efficient, flexible and easier to expand and reuse. In SOA environments, companies can overcome the main gap in legacy systems between their business requirements and the capabilities of their IT systems.
However, SOA development is still considered an IT issue. One of the reasons is that IT managers are not successfully explaining SOA’s business benefits to upper management. Also, upper management is not really interested in processes for better IT utilization or in recognizing SOA’s potential.
To get support from upper management for the successful development of SOA, it is important to build a roadmap that illustrates an understanding of not only the technologies but also the business value, impact, technology capabilities, interactions between systems, robustness, lower development costs, and security factors. A number of business related issues are important for SOA strategy and technologies:
• Agility in changing systems to follow new and changing business processes.
• Solving problems of badly integrated systems, which requires a lot of development, time, and money to integrate.
• Problems of data and business logic spreading, which can cause unexpected difficulties
• High maintenance costs.
• User dissatisfaction with the current system.
• Possibility for step-by-step systems upgrading.
These are only some arguments that can be used by IT managers for presenting SOA advantages to management. Moreover, SOA consulting and development companies, whose analysts and architects are able to explain the advantages of SOA to an organization could also be very helpful. They can also assist your company in the development of SOA principles and best practices that guide planning, development, integration, and management of application infrastructures. In addition, they can be useful when preparing a business case that demonstrates the value of SOA to upper management.
It is crucial that SOA consultants and businesses work together in conducting an analysis. The most important factors for SOA strategy are the business analyst and the SOA architect; the former is responsible for representing the business requirements, while the latter is responsible for ensuring compliance with the IT strategy.
An analysis provided by a business analyst and an SOA architect can be used to justify investment in SOA. A clear and comprehensive analysis prepared through an open and constructive dialog, is the perfect way to demonstrate the value of SOA and IT synergy to upper management.