A service is a business activity that works within a preset framework and has a specific result. Certain services might have other services encapsulated within them. For customers who are using the service the outcome is what matters regardless of how the enterprise deploys or accomplishes it.
Service oriented architecture (SOA) is a set of frameworks and methodologies that is helping enterprises to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced business scenario. It makes IT which is the backbone of the modern enterprise highly agile, elastic and adaptable and this in turn makes the enterprise more nimble.
The service oriented architecture assists in following ways:
It is designed based on actual business necessities and driven by ways to serve those necessities. The context for the service is provided by the ground realities or business descriptions like the company’s goals, policies, processes and so on. The infrastructure has a special emphasis in the service oriented architecture. So is the regulation of the service and its implementation that begin to acquire special importance. Finally the yardstick to rate a particular service is paramount in order to get an idea on ways to optimize it.
SOA is being implemented for IT and businesses to achieve the desired result and shorten the time taken to reach out to the customers. SOA in itself might not mean much but when it is implemented in specific processes it takes on a significant role. These processes could be customer relationship, supplier management, enterprise data security, communication and information systems, and so on.
Change is one thing that is constant in today’s world. Market dynamics change and customer needs evolve and in such a scenario it is highly expected from enterprises that they also change. Major changes are mostly a top-down approach in the corporate world and the higher management gives a blueprint of what is expected and how to go about achieving that change.
Enterprises make use of strategic business initiatives and IT frameworks to come up with solutions to explore opportunities for change. SOA in such a scenario ensures that both the business strategies and IT architecture are thoroughly understood and implemented in the grand scheme of things.
The SOA gives the roadmap for change that can be incorporated by the enterprise. It sets forth the rules of change, clearly highlights where the control vests and the types of regulations that might have to be put in place to achieve the desired result in a time-bound fashion.
At a fundamental level SOA makes IT systems more agile. The large monolithic blocks of yesterday’s software systems no longer work today. IT systems today need to be developed with high levels of inherent interoperability. This way different processes can communication with one another and information exchange can be quick, simple and seamless.
Though the most important benefit of SOA is for IT architecture it is by no means limited to IT systems. It can benefit enterprises in wide-ranging ways and provide the architecture for non-IT related business processes, mergers and acquisitions, financial transactions, people management and others. Service oriented architecture takes a holistic view of an enterprise’s journey in today’s dynamic world. It provides the big picture and gives a long-term strategy and the ways IT can help to achieve it.