Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA to the Rescue in Recession

If the ROI for the SOA is worth the money and the effort then you move forward

Many organizations out there don't really have to sell SOA. They understand that hype is the driver, and, in essence, leverage the thousands of articles and books on the topic to sell this architectural pattern.

However, in most cases SOA has to be sold in the enterprise. If you're doing SOA right, you'll find that the cost quickly goes well into the millions, so you'll need executive approval for that kind of spending. However, the benefits are there as well, including the core benefit of agility that could save the company many times the cost of building a SOA. Or, at least, that's the idea.

How do you sell SOA? Let's look at a few key concepts, including:

  • Shining a light on existing limitations
  • Creating the business case
  • Creating the execution plan
  • Delivering the goods

Shining a light on existing limitations refers to the process of admitting how bad things are. This is difficult to do for most architects, because it can expose you to criticism. You're in charge of keeping things working correctly, and now you have to explain why things aren't working as they should or could. If it's any comfort, the architecture in most Global 2000 companies needs fixing. You can't change the architectures; they're too complex and ill-planned. If your architecture has issues, and they all do, now is time to list them.

This is analogous to admitting that you're 20 pounds overweight before going on a diet, or admitting you have a substance abuse problem before taking the famed 12 steps. In essence, you're defining your issues and so have a clear understanding of the problems before you attempt to fix them.

Creating the business case refers to the process of actually putting some numbers down as to the value of SOA to the enterprise or business. This means looking at the existing issues (from the previous step), and putting dollar figures next to them. For instance, how much are these limitations costing the business, and how does that affect the bottom line? Then, how will the addition of SOA affect the business - positively or negatively?

Put numbers next to the core values of reuse and agility. You'll find that agility is the most difficult concept to define but has the most value for those building a SOA. Then, if the ROI for the SOA is worth the money and the effort, you move forward. This tactic communicates a clear set of objectives for the effort and links the technical notion of SOA with the business.

Creating the execution plan refers to the detailed plan that defines what will be done, when, by what resources, and how long it will take. This is basically a project plan, but most people will find that the systemic nature of SOA requires that a great many resources work together to drive toward the end state. Leveraging and managing those resources is somewhat complex, as is the project management aspect of SOA.

Delivering the goods just means doing what you said you would do. Execution is where most SOAs fall down. However, if you fail to deliver on time and on budget, chances are your SOA efforts won't have credibility in the enterprise, and future selling will be impossible. So, say what you'll do, and do what you say.

Selling SOA is more of an art than a well-defined process, as you've seen. It really requires a certain degree of understanding, including the technology, the business, and the culture of the enterprise. Most important to the project, selling needs to be followed up with delivery and the value. That's the tough part.

More Stories By David Linthicum

Dave Linthicum is Sr. VP at Cloud Technology Partners, and an internationally known cloud computing and SOA expert. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and blogger. In his career, Dave has formed or enhanced many of the ideas behind modern distributed computing including EAI, B2B Application Integration, and SOA, approaches and technologies in wide use today. In addition, he is the Editor-in-Chief of SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal.

For the last 10 years, he has focused on the technology and strategies around cloud computing, including working with several cloud computing startups. His industry experience includes tenure as CTO and CEO of several successful software and cloud computing companies, and upper-level management positions in Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years, and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including University of Virginia and Arizona State University. He keynotes at many leading technology conferences, and has several well-read columns and blogs. Linthicum has authored 10 books, including the ground-breaking "Enterprise Application Integration" and "B2B Application Integration." You can reach him at [email protected] Or follow him on Twitter. Or view his profile on LinkedIn.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
robertmorschel 10/08/08 12:20:00 PM EDT

Selling SOA to the business to the degree that they remain engaged for the duration of what is going to be a lengthy and frustrating endeavour, and are willing to adapt to this new way of doing software, will be as tough as actually building anything. Of course I don't have concrete figures to substantiate this, but then nor does any SOA business case I've seen before. ;-)

Robert
soaprobe.blogspot.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...