Nick Gall, a Gartner Research analyst, says for best results enterprises should unify enterprise architecture with service-oriented architecture and business process management. Gall, who spoke at the Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference 2009, said every enterprise will be doing SOA within 18 months whether they plan to or not.
REDMOND, Wash. -- For the most effective service-oriented
architecture implementations, enterprises should unify enterprise
architecture with SOA and business process management, so said Gartner
Research analyst Nick Gall in a broad how-to discussion on SOA at the
2009 Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference here.
Gall, who is a vice president at Gartner, spoke on "The Role of
Enterprise Architecture in Shaping Business Process Management and
SOA." He started off saying the reason for getting into SOA is change.
He said the frequency and amplitude of business change is increasing,
"And you're all going to be doing SOA in 18 months whether you plan to
Meanwhile, Gall said SOA and BPM are typically not well-coordinated
in the enterprise. He then got into definitions of the basic concepts.
For instance, EA is the process of translating business vision and
strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communication
and improving key principles and models that describe the enterprise's
future state and enable its evolution.
As for SOA? SOA is an architectural approach to building systems,
Gall said. It delivers two major categories of value. One is sharing or
reuse, and the other is agility or the ability to change more rapidly.
And this is done via two fundamental principles: interface abstraction
and modularization, he said. Further, Gall said there are five
principles of SOA design. A SOA is modular, distributable, clearly
defined, swappable and shareable, he said.
And what is BPM, you ask? According to Gall, BPM refers to a set of
management disciplines that accelerate effective business process
improvement by blending incremental and transformative methods. BPM is
a cultural change, he said. So if an organization is not willing to
change the way it works then it should not set its expectations very
high, he said. However, BPM's disciplines are largely
technology-enabled, Gall said.
Gall maintains that SOA is better with BPM. "While you can establish
an SOA, to build an SOA application you need business and process
analysts to design and build the most effective 'close-to-the-business'
applications," he said.
And conversely BPM is better with SOA, Gall said. "BPM alone is
limited," he said. "Older, siloed applications are difficult to
integrate with BPM." Yet, services represent the actions that processes
coordinate and services ensure consistence across processes."
However, "where the magic happens" is in what Gall refers to as the
Service Interface Center of Gravity or IFaPs, which is a reference to
Identifiers, Formats and Protocols. (IFaPs). Identifiers are single
versions of master data. Formats are metadata for transparency and
discovery. And protocols are common information services to harmonize
of manage results, Gall said.