As business move away from buying applications to buying the means of facilitating business processes, a different approach to existing technology assets is required.
• Businesses depend on processes, not technology
The process of moving a prospect to becoming a customer, of going from gaining and order to having cash in the bank is the driving force behind how business run. Technology has to be there to facilitate these processes – in the most effective and efficient manner.
• There are multiple types of business process that need to be considered
Business process can be centred around people, around information or around process. An overall process may bring together a mix of these needs, and the solution chosen must be able to “mix and match” the different types in a manageable and efficient manner
• The Application paradigm is dying
Monolithic, vertically focussed applications do not provide the capability to respond to supporting rapidly changing processes across an organisation.
• Value Chains drive the need for additional flexibility
The need to interact with suppliers and customers in an effective manner is also driving the need for openness. Processes between organisation and people need to be highly flexible and inclusive – and highly programmatic approaches are increasingly too cumbersome to meet the task.
• Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are the way forwards
By creating functional components at a suitable level of granularity, “composite applications” can be rapidly constructed that meet the needs of specific processes at any time.
• Although the Application paradigm is dying, the Application survives
“Ripping and replacing” existing applications is not financially viable for many companies. Therefore, the means of exposing specific functionality from within applications as services is required to make the application appear as a peer in an SOA environment.
• Modelling business processes is key
• Businesses need to be able to easily visualise existing business processes, and define and try out new ones.
SOA will be the enabling technology for those organisations that choose to run their business from a process point of view. Tooling must be chosen that enables existing investments to be used within the SOA environment, and that enables business processes to be easily and effectively modelled.
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