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FROM SOA TO ‘SOA’
Socially Oriented Architecture (SOA) defines the use of information services to support business requirements. As such SOA utilizes a combination of existing and new enabling technologies. A “service” may encapsulate an entire business process, or embody one or more aspects of an existing business process. XML-based Web Services are a popular way to expose these services within and across enterprises, but are by no means the only way to realize an SOA vision.
Thought leaders of SOA see it not as yet another technology hype-curve, but as a fundamental shift in the persona of enterprise information management architecture away from a state where all data is ‘owned’ by the enterprise - and IT professionals are responsible for the security, provisioning and management of all data consumed by the enterprise - to a state where information workers, as consumers of ‘information services’, are provided with the tools and competencies to serve themselves with the information that matters most to them through systems shaped by themselves for their own purposes operating within a regimented corporate computing environment protecting the best interests of the enterprise.
Seen through this broader definition, SOA is not a move from one enterprise computing architecture to another, but the definitive technology enabler to transition organizational design from an inflexible top-down command and control system to something more agile and innovative. For this reason, SOA is progressively reaching into the boardroom as a key competitive differentiator; pulling through in its wake new innovations in IT that include cloud computing, business social networking, enterprise mashups, business intelligence and master data management.
In this White Paper I review the emergence of a new computing paradigm.