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Success in Service Orientated Architecture depends on approach

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Mike Steyn, director triVector
Sound architecting will determine the extent to which a company is able to benefit from Service Orientated Architecture (SOA). Mike Steyn, Director, triVector, a specialised national provider of next-generation BPM and Enterprise Architecture solutions, discusses the intricacies and dynamics of current application of SOA within business and what this means for modern-day trade.

Architecting is key to business approach and successful SOA. My contention is that architecting is very important and decision makers in business need to proactively manage problems with proper design and architecting upfront. This is critical and must be understood and adhered to, otherwise businesses will not realise the advantages of service orientated architecture.

And the point is that this is not just relevant and applicable at a technology level, it is really about how to design at a business level so that reuse can happen. Business architects will be the drivers of SOA in business going forward. However, greater general knowledge and true understanding of this area of the market is required.

There is talk in the market of SOA leading to an agile, streamlined and well organised, automated processes and resources so that change can take place to enhance operations and make the business more competitive. However, local users are only scratching the surface of SOA in business and there is a wealth of benefits that lie within effective architecting.

On the domestic front, we have yet to really grasp and embrace what can be achieved when we begin to get the design right and apply this at a business level. There is a risk of ‘over-architecting’ and this represents a challenge to businesses seeking to derive a return on SOA infrastructure.

Decision makers must however ensure that there is just enough architecture in place just in time to provide the necessary structure, guidance and direction to unlock potential value for business. This will ensure that positive results are achieved and sustained.

I believe that business architects can play a very important and critical role in this regard. They can provide design philosophies and point companies in the right direction in terms of governance and guidance. We need enough architecture at the right time. This will mean a great deal to an organisation and demonstrate another side of service orientated architecture and its general application.

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