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Service Oriented Architecture

 

SOA - I've heard of it, but what can it do for me

If you are like most business people, you have heard the newest "buzzwords", but if asked directly, you would have no idea what they meant. Service Oriented Architecture allows application to be integrated more easily by standardizing the way they exchange data. Software Providers, like Oracle, continue to introduce new applications to help their customers integrate their architecture and realize a significant return on investment (ROI).

Today, more and more companies are investing their technology budgets in business integration, particulary service related architecture. By the end of 2006, about half of all North American and European companies with 1,000 employees or more rolled out a project involving SOA.

The benefits of such projects, say I.T. executives, can be multifold-from reducing personnel hours to saving on hardware and software purchases. You don't have to be a large or even medium sized company, small companies, too are integrating applications and processes across their enterprises to better interact with customers, suppliers and partners-and are realizing what a tremendous cost savings introducing this type of architecture is for their company.

Buyer Beware

Some technology executives, however, warn that SOA and other integration methods can be troublesome if a business doesn't fully grasp the concepts. Having clear objective of what the business hopes to attain with the integration is key to it being successful and seeing a return on their investment. Businesses need to carefully analyze which business processes would provide a greater impact to their business and therefore a greater impact to their bottom line. Utilizing a consulting firm that specializes in determining these benefits can provide invaluable direction in this process and help avoid the headache that often comes when working within the IT world. The best way to avoid the "IT" minefield is to have a reliable and experienced consulting firm working with you.

There are few segments of the IT market as volatile and interesting as the SOA space. Any current SOA planning efforts need to take the state and direction of the marketplace into consideration. Our consultants are diversified and understand that alignment of multi-vendor platforms with open standards and technologies are key components of SOA transition plans. These are frequently overlooked, potentially leading to poor decision making and perhaps misplaced investments. Having a team of experts in this decision making process is must when looking at business goals for the direction of their IT department and will be a huge benefit in reducing application development costs.

At eAlliance we realize some very important steps in creating a SOA plan for your business environment. Several key factors cannot be overlooked or the integration process will be fraught with peril. We offer expertise in SOA and know the top areas that are fundamental to SOA integration:

- Start with an XML Foundation Architecture;
- Have a clear understanding of SOA performance requirements;
- Creation of a transition plan;
- standardizing SOA;
- Building SOA as a distinct architectural model based on service-orientation.

Having a consulting partner there to avoid these is integral for a successful implementation into your SOA environment. Understanding the pitfalls others have fallen victim to puts eAlliance in a position from which we can form the foresight required to chart a safer route down your SOA roadmap.

We currently offer webinars, hands-on training and education workshops that delve further into Service Oriented Architecture and can help your organization navigate your own IT future. Please check our events page for future workshops.

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