SOA in Any Economic Climate

Change is a constant in the competitive environment. The agility and flexibility that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) enables can help businesses weather the ongoing change that has become part of the routine of competition. These advantages are especially critical when contending with changing economic cycles. In today’s global economy, enterprises often contend with a mixed picture, serving different regions that are in varying phases of economic growth or slowdown. They must have the ability to flexibly adjust and calibrate go-to-market strategies, enhancing capacity or expanding products and services for regions in growth, while streamlining in areas whose economies are flattening or decelerating.

SOA can enable businesses to meet several key challenges when navigating a changing economy. The loosely-coupled nature of SOA promotes business agility, a capability that helps businesses adapt to changes in economic cycles. SOA also helps place a lid on integration costs because of its inclusion of a separate, standards-based integration layer. By liberating processes from closed, often poorly documented application silos, SOA can improve business process visibility. As organizations repurpose rather than replace existing software or business process assets, and compose rather than develop new processes or applications, SOA reduces lead time and cost of deploying new functionality. Finally, SOA plays an important role in supporting business-centric collaboration by empowering workgroups with the technology to overcome the business challenges that face them.

In changing economic conditions, IT organizations need to contain the scope and risk of any new project. Fortunately, SOA is conducive to iterative approaches that reduce risk. The flexibility of loosely—coupled Services enables them to evolve as business and IT teams mount the learning curve. Embarking on an iterative approach, organizations can realize quick wins from SOA,

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