SOA:Now is the time to find a competitive advantage


“The choice is no longer whether to do SOA or not do SOA. It’s how to do it,” said Gartner research vice president Paolo Malinverno at the analyst’s recent Application Development and Integration Summit.

With Gartner estimating as much as 80% of large enterprises already use SOA to become more efficient (see further reading, below), how can you use service orientation to create a competitive advantage?

The short answer is presentation, the oft-too forgotten area of SOA. Many businesses working on service orientation still forget to place enough emphasis on the presentation layer, which is your front-end interaction with the client. It is a surprising – and frankly baffling – oversight.

In a tough economic climate, it will be tough enough to keep hold of cash-poor customers – and when it comes to grabbing new clients, your IT budget might not stretch to heavy spending on technology. The answer to such problems is simpler than you might expect.

Too many firms still struggle with complexity. When times are tough and the business needs more information quickly, many IT leaders turn to technology, adding additional layers of systems and processes.

The approach is nothing short of madness. Cash is already tight – and if you are struggling to find something, why add more and more layers that will only further obfuscate the issue at hand?

Aim for clarity, not complexity. SOA can help you make best use of your existing resources, avoiding the necessity to splash out on new IT kit. More specifically, now is the perfect time to look to at the SOA presentation layer.

Such a focus will allow you to focus on your interaction with your clients and improve business services, without upsetting existing back end systems. An open presentation platform – like our edgeConnect technology – will allow you to manage a complex array of channels, providing continuous improvements in customer service.

Finding an SOA presentation layer model that works means you will be able to quickly roll out an approach for each local market that integrates existing components, from back-end systems to front-end interfaces.

Get your service-oriented strategy right and you will also be able to create an easily repeatable configuration for new business practices. Rather than developing new systems for new initiatives, your winning configuration should be applicable for a range of business processes.

Fast, agile and easily repeatable, successful companies are concentrating on the SOA presentation layer because it gives them an inherent competitive advantage in the fast-changing information age.

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