25 Mar 2010

SOA Development for Small Companies

SOA 6 Comments
Most small companies are not interested in SOA. The main reason for this is that upper management is frightened of what they think will be the huge expenses connected with the development of SOA. But, as ever, technology has been changing. Now, in fact, SOA can be very beneficial for even small business since SOA development and integration now can be implemented at a much lower cost than before.
But to gain SOA benefits, several procedures must be followed. Before starting an SOA project, which business process will be implemented should first be defined. For the first project, the process chosen should be something simple and not business critical. In that way, positive results will quickly be apparent, and in case of failure, none of the business critical processes will be affected.
Before each SOA project is started, a good road map with defined milestones needs to be created. The milestones should be relatively close together so development progress can be actively controlled. Because a good road map cannot be drawn without at least a basic design of the new SOA system, it is recommended that expert SOA consultants are included at this stage. This will be very beneficial in the latter stages of the project because those milestones will already be well-defined, and the SOA development team will be able to deliver on time.
Of course, in SOA projects for small companies, system architecture is also crucial for the successful implementation of SOA. However, costs can be much lower than for huge SOA projects. A small company’s business organization is much simpler, so such implementation can start with integration of only a small part of business processes, a lot of work can be done by an internal IT team, if available, and progress can proceed in small steps. But still, the main roles (i.e. business analyst and SOA architect) should be filled by specialists from SOA development companies. For those key tasks, experience is very important, and many SOA consulting and development companies can offer that.
The next step is the development of the SOA services needed for integrating business processes. To lower costs, many free tools can be used: servers, IDEs, ESBs, and BPEL processing tools. Development with these free tools can be as rapid and successful as with other, payable solutions. But the key element is a well-integrated team. The best results can be achieved with a team associated with the inside developer working with an outside SOA developer expert from an SOA consulting company.
Developing SOA projects and integrating a company’s business systems in that way will produce very rapid and beneficial results for whole company; however, the costs will remain quite low and will be returned in a very short time.

6 Responses to “SOA Development for Small Companies”

  1. Radoslaw Zak-Brodalko says:

    Well, in my opinion, too often SOA is presented to Business as “technology initiative” but in in fact, in most cases, the crucial element of successful SOA is change of approach in governance. Another issue is about the fact that a small (mid) size company (usually) is completely unaware of its future growth consequences (even if the growth is expected).

  2. Yeshodhan Kulkarni says:

    Nice article and a good point bought forward. There are many SMEs going the traditional way of implementing their IT infrastructure and considering SOA of an elephant which will lead to maintenance issues. But given proper consulting and expert advise and given the unconditional support from the top management and people of the key people of an organization, SOA implementations can really be very successful and organizations can leverage their IT implementations using SOA.

  3. Sreepad Kanchanavally says:

    Well, what I have learnt is that when presenting the Service Oriented ideas to higher management, never utter the acronym “SOA”. One, because people really don’t know what it stands for; two, people don’t understand its significance and three, people treat it as a project rather than a journey.

    Sometimes I feel its a pity that Vice Presidents, Executive Directors and CTO’s of bigger organisations think Architecture not in terms of its reality; but as a tool-based or magazine based. What I mean by this critic is that, executive members buy a Product Suite from companies like Oracle, IBM or TIBCO and project that they have implemented SOA. And I have seen in some cases, the executive directors responsible for technology vision implement something thats written in a magazine and project that they have implemented SOA, without thinking how their so called architecture aligns itself and help the business. Hence no-wonder why the CEO’s and COO’s think that IT Architecture is a Cost Center and NOT a revenue generating machine.

    That being said, I agree with you that companies who are interested in starting their SOA journey must seek the help of industry thought leaders and experienced consultants in laying out their vision; strategizing its execution and assisting in the journey.

  4. Martines says:

    Great information you have there. 🙂

  5. Eloy Micthell says:

    Great post, very informative.

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