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Occam’s Razor Needs a New Blade: On the Social Limits to Enterprise SOA

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Occam’s Razor Needs a New Blade: On the Social Limits to Enterprise SOA

  1. 1. Frank Klink Vice President, Global Financial Institutions and Trade Systems Wachovia Corporation SessionTitle: Occam’s Razor Needs a New Blade: On the Social Limits to Enterprise SOA
  2. 2. Enterprise SOA in Theory <ul><li>Enterprise application suite refactored into an ensemble of modular functional units accessible by many applications over the network. </li></ul><ul><li>Shared services are supported by a governance structure that ensures alignment between long term benefits and short-term business pressures. </li></ul><ul><li>The result: the benefits of software reuse: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster time to market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower cost of production and maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower risk </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Enterprise SOA in Practice <ul><li>Enterprise architecture team adopts SOA. </li></ul><ul><li>Business app managers seek to align with EA </li></ul><ul><li>EA and business app managers both emphasize technology implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Business lines continue to press for and fund business functionality with aggressive dates </li></ul><ul><li>SOA projects are initiated </li></ul><ul><li>Resulting services map one-to-one to their business line apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding, management, project mgt remains organized around the app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application teams expected to “work together” on shared service development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But deadlines remain app-focused </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What Went Wrong? <ul><li>Conventional answer: Inadequate governance </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient explanation – similar problems with less ambitious reuse paradigms – OOP and CBD </li></ul><ul><li>My answer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software models human practices taking the form of business processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business processes are complex ensembles of rules, exception to rules, and exceptions to exceptions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This complexity is inescapable because it reflects human contingency – that is, the human ability to create and modify current state across a multiplicity of attributes. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. SOA’s Raison d’etre: Software Reuse <ul><li>Benefits of reuse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster time to market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower cost of production and maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower risk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Noncontroversial benefits </li></ul><ul><li>So why do these benefits go unrealized? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some Unstated Presumptions <ul><li>Business problems are similar enough across domains to warrant reuse. </li></ul><ul><li>This implies sufficient simplicity relative to delivery dates to warrant an abstraction effort. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, decomposition is iterative and time-consuming </li></ul>
  7. 7. Social Science Metaphor <ul><li>SS builds parsimonious, axiomatic models of human behavior – e.g., microeconomics </li></ul><ul><li>Parsimony vs. explanatory power </li></ul>
  8. 8. Software As a Model of Human Behavior <ul><li>Software is not just instructions executed on a chip set </li></ul><ul><li>Software is a representation of human practices instantiated as business processes </li></ul><ul><li>This means software is inherently complex </li></ul><ul><li>Not by the accident of bad governance </li></ul><ul><li>But rather due to a basic domain problem: complex human practices. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Policymakers Use Social Science and a Guide <ul><li>Software architects need to do the same </li></ul><ul><li>Aiming for tractable problems and use SOA as a guide </li></ul>
  10. 10. Thank You! <ul><li>Frank Klink </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President, Global Financial Institutions and Trade Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Wachovia Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Information: </li></ul><ul><li>+1 215-518-2324 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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