Forrester Day 1: Sandy Carter, IBM

I saw Sandy Carter speak a week ago at the Gartner BPM conference, and as expected, there’s some amount of overlap from what I heard there in the first section on what’s driving business today and the nature of globally-integrated enterprises. Less talk about BPM (since this isn’t a BPM conference) and much more on SOA and how it contributes to these types of enterprises.

She covers off four distinct styles or paths of SOA:

  • Foundational, which is focussed on proven, high-ROI projects; typically there’s only 5% of functions as services, and less than 10% reuse of these services.
  • Extend end-to-end, with optimization and innovation across the entire value chain using BPM, with up to 40% of functions expressed as services, and up to 20% of services reused.
  • Transform, where the business model is being transformed and IT provides a strategic advantage; up to 50% of functions are expressed as services, and up to 80% reusable.
  • Adapt dynamically, where the technology becomes invisible and predictive business functions drive process innovation; more than 80% of functions are expressed as services, and more than 50% are reusable.

She went through each of these in detail, with examples, and talked about how and why each of the approaches are typically selected from both the business and technology standpoint.

There was a booklet distributed to each of us when the session started written by Carter, entitled “The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0”, and she used it as a launch point to discuss enterprise mashups and how they can be used to extend the use of SOA. There’s been lots written about mashups as the global SOA; like BPM, mashups are a primary consumer of services that help to increase reusability and therefore cost-justify SOA in the first place. She showed us some nice services-based mashups that IBM has built for their own internal use; as usual, I wish that IBM would move the internal stuff out to the real world a lot sooner since it seems that they’re doing some really interesting stuff internally that takes years to reach the market.

She then introduced Mohammed Farooz, CTO of the state of Texas, to talk about their Health and Human Services department and the transformational work that they’ve done. They’ve moved from a single channel client interaction model (where each program had its own client interaction) to a multi-channel client interaction where all programs were available to citizens through a common interface, whether they were doing web self-service or calling in to the call center. They accomplished this with an agile business framework (business modeling, capability management, performance management and governance) on top of a flexible SOA stack (Rational, WebSphere and a few other IBM bits).

Carter wrapped up with some comments on end-to-end process integrity — interaction, transactional and information — and how IBM is focussing on this. She showed the same video about Second Life “BPM Flight Simulator” as we saw last week. When they talk about simulating business processes within a simulated environment, I still just have to shake my head, although apparently there’s a greater retention rate for people using this for training versus traditional methods.

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