Is service oriented architecture important for your business?
What is service oriented architecture and how can it benefit your business processes?
Service oriented architecture, or SOA, has become a trending topic in the business process management world. For many businesses, processes are everything. Processes drive the action of business units and define the parameters of the success of that action. Processes can also help to define goals and the steps that a business needs to take towards those goals to reach success. So how does service oriented architecture fit into this?
Service oriented architecture is defined as “a style of software design where services are provided to the other components by application components, through a communication protocol over a network. The basic principles of service-oriented architecture are independent of vendors, products and technologies.” How is this beneficial for businesses?
Some advantages include:
Services (functions) are reusable
Since each part of the application is essentially coded as an independent piece of software, these pieces can be reused together in different configurations for different functions and processes. One great example of this works is a USB cord – a USB cord can be used to charge and power different devices. Rather than every device requiring a different piece of powering equipment, the USB cord serves as a power provider that works in conjunction with several pieces of technology and is independent in the service it provides.
Easier to scale
The nature of SOA means that the pieces of software can be constructed and built upon as businesses grow or the needs of the business change.
Again, like a USB, services in SOA are generally readily available and not specialized to one use or function.
Services in SOA allow for programmers to reuse a function in another application, rather than building out a specialized service to work in that application, therefore enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.
So, if your business wants to integrate SOA, what are the steps to help get you there?
Identify the parts of the business or overall business processes that will benefit most from service oriented architecture. You don’t need to implement SOA organization wide for every IT and business process. Is one group in your marketing department or accounting department always asking for specialized reporting tools or analysis software? Maybe see if there’s a way to build SOA into the processes or being transitioning some of their programs and processes to SOA based architecture so that services and functions can be reused or regrouped internally to streamline productivity.
If being able to streamline processes and increase productivity sounds great to you, but you’re not sure where to start or even where SOA can specially help your business, it never hurts ask for help. While SOA isn’t a specific technology and more of a style of building tech solutions, there are plenty of SOA partners who you can consult with to find the SOA solution for your business.
Has your business developed or deployed SOA practices? Have you noticed a difference in your productivity or performance? Do you believe that SOA enables for better flexibility within organizations?