The first breakout session of the day was on connecting BPM, SOA and EA for enterprise transformation, with Robert Pillar of Microsoft. He’s talking about how compliance is the key driver to the coalition of BPM, SOA and EA, but that the coalition starts with holistic collaboration. There are barriers to this:
- Organizational barriers: IT organizations and silos between EA, SOA and BPM groups
- Cultural barriers: lack of understanding the business value, lack of understanding the concepts, and old-style mentality
- Political barriers: resistance to change
- Collaboration barriers: resistance to meetings and collaboration
Risks and benefits must be measured.
At this point, someone in the audience spoke up and said “we understand all this, can you just skip ahead to any solutions to these issues that you have to present?” Incredibly rude, and really put the speaker on the spot, but he had a point.
He had a summary slide on why to choose SOA:
- It offers a focus on business processes and goals: supports customer centric view of the business, allows design of solutions that keep requirement changes (agility) in mind
- It offers an iterative and incremental approach following EA and BPM initiatives: make change happen over time, allow employees learn about the concept of services
- It offers a means to reap the benefits of existing investments on technology: reuse IT resources, focus on business problems without being entangled in the technology
He sees EA and BPM as leading us to SOA, which is a valid point: if you do EA and BPM, you’ll definitely start to do SOA. However, I see many organizations starting with SOA in the absence of either EA or BPM.