How SOA Transforms the Meaning of Legacy

To many technologists in the IT organization, the word “legacy” connotes a negative meaning, but not because the systems they are dealing with provide little value. Rather, on the contrary, these systems are of tremendous value to the organization, but interacting with them comes at such cost and with such complexity that little remains of this value to the organization.

Sevice-Oriented Architecture (SOA) promises to turn this problem on its head. One of the most powerful concepts is the notion that a business can achieve true reuse of its assets through SOA, and thus achieve the flexiblity and agility it so desires. The whole idea of reuse is to get more value from what has originally been built. As such, the ideas of reuse and legacy are really one and the same thing! How can a company even hope to achieve any aspect of reuse if they are continually rebuilding their existing capabilities? Indeed, true reuse demands the continuation of legacy, and thus transforms the concept of legacy from a problem-spot to the core asset of every enterprise.

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