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Issue of September 2006 

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The secret of successful SOA

Composite service oriented architecture (SOA) business services are stressing traditional IT management strategies and tools to the breaking point. This is what many CIOs are learning the hard way, according to Ovum Summit, the analyst and consulting company. Successful SOA deployments demand state-of-the-art IT management strategies.

Ovum recently conducted a survey of 333 North American IT decision-makers representing a mix of enterprise and mid-market customers. The survey identified strong connections between an organisation’s commitment to managing IT as a set of services and the success of its SOA implementation.

“Our survey strongly indicates that successful SOA deployments need to be supported with management strategies that take an end-to-end, cross-tier look at the dependencies and relationships across the full set of systems and software used to enable end-to-end business services,” commented Mary Johnston Turner, Ovum Summit Vice-president and author of the survey.

Traditional IT management approaches assume tight connections between systems and applications, while SOA environments are much more loosely coupled. “Customers who have not made major changes to their day-to-day IT operations management environment can’t keep up with the operational demands of SOA as it scales up from pilot project uses to full-blown enterprise-wide implementations,” said Turner.

The study found that the customers who have implemented IT service management best practices (such as ITIL), along with policy-based automated management tools, are twice as likely as other firms to report that their SOA investments are meeting all their IT and business goals.

Results show that the most satisfied SOA customers aim to improve business flexibility and IT’s responsiveness to changing business needs. The least satisfied customers appear fixated on development cycle time and software re-use improvements, but tend to overlook the increased levels of operational complexity that result from the deployment of SOA.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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