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This chapter is from the book


To begin the journey of becoming a flex–pon–sive* company takes both business and IT acumen, with a special focus on your business models and processes. As we discussed in Chapter 1, "The Innovation Imperative," your journey begins with a focus on a real business problem, not SOA. How do you grow? How do you become more responsive? How do you ensure that you have the right skills needed on both the business and IT sides? Start small on your journey and build those needed talents and capabilities; in the long run, SOA will enable your success.

Those who succeed have the longer term in mind—they're flex–pon–sive* in a global world—and they leverage the best practices and learning of other companies. Maximize your company's journey with a shorter time to value:

  • Focus on the area that will change the game in your industry.
  • Address the area of focus with flexible IT—and SOA—to begin growing your revenue and ensuring flexibility. The SOA entry points are built on business–centric views and are flexible enough to fit your needs. These entry points are more than just hype; they have solid experience woven into the patterns for success.
  • Leverage the best practices of others in your industry and those outside. Remember that the new game is the focus on business models and business processes.
  • Implement governance, which is critical for cross–business cultural change and a secure, robust infrastructure that is needed to scale and support your SOA projects and undertakings.
  • Include a trusted partner such as IBM that provides both the business acumen and advanced technologies to build your journey upon. Because the world is changing, it is not just about technology—it is about the combination of business and IT.

I started this closing chapter discussing the number of shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast due to the unpredictable nature of the forces of nature and man. Today's time seems to be very similar to that N.C. coast. Your success depends on your business's ability to weather unpredictable times and to drive change into the marketplace. It is an adventure that truly takes you to all parts of the world in a global economy. To succeed, similar to those captains of the sea, you will need tools to enable your success.

This book provided you with several of those tools:

  • The Component Business Model, to determine which processes to focus on (Chapter 3)
  • The business–centric entry points enabled by SOA, to help your business deploy SOA at the rate and pace you need for real business results (Chapter 4)
  • A technology roadmap and SOA reference architecture and lifecycle (Chapters 4 and 5, "SOA Key Concepts")
  • The business case approach for innovative ideas around process and models, to serve as a framework (Chapter 7, "Three Business–Centric SOA Entry Points")
  • More than 30 case studies and examples that can shed light on others' journeys and lessons learned from more than 3,000 real–world businesses (Chapter 9, "The Top 10 Don'ts!"; Chapter 10, "Case Study: IBM"; and throughout)
  • Maturity models, to determine where you are and what the right approach is for your business (Chapter 7)

Regardless of where you start, your journey toward competitiveness in business model innovation is enabled by the new language of business—SOA and Web 2.0. Becoming a flex–pon–sive* company drives your business to new levels of growth and flexibility in the marketplace. It becomes your language for business success.

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