muSOAing for 2/7/11 – SOA and ROI

While I have already stressed several times that SOA promotes a business first approach to solving any kind of IT need, be it a simple and granular function or a highly composite business process spanning several functional silos. One critical aspect that one has to keep in mind is the one that relates to overall ROI. I am sure not all folks are jumping on the Services Everywhere bandwagon just because it is the in thing to do. IT managers have long ago realized the advantages of SOA and a comprehensive Service Oriented Architecture.

They are just kicking this up a notch to the next level. In the current landscape, just having services deployed is not enough, there needs to be more. One of them is a holistic view on how to have a Comprehensive SOA strategy by incoporating Governance, EDA and BPM to round it off and the other key aspect is of course ROI. SOA is one of those technologies that lets you measure tangible ROI. One of the important components of ROI is TCO which in turn has several sub elements such as, cost of maintenance in a business as usual fashion, cost of upgrades, building new interfaces, staff training and skill sets, staff retention etc. The other aspect of ROI is what the “C” level folks are interested in, one of which is of course the sum total TCO but also ones that have much deeper implications such as business agility, advantage over competitors etc. SOA again has mechanisms to address this through the comprehensive and well rounded strategy that can be guaged by the SOA maturity model and measure against it.

While it may seem that it is possible for folks to bite off more than they can chew, this is a real possibility though, one can easily avoid these pitfalls by adopting a Holistic approach to the whole strategy. While at the outset, it should be a strategic one with buy in from all the key stakeholders including the SOA champion who controls the purse strings, it should be supported by several tactical initiatives to get buy in from the IT managers and the foot soldiers who are rearing to go and make this vision a reality.

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