IBM has introduced a new?service methodology to guide companies that are considering SOA investments. The methodology, which could be thought of as a roadmap on the highway to SOA success, incorporates multiple elements.?Among them:
- IBM Business Enablement Services for SOA identifies how an SOA can help meet customers? business goals, infuse flexibility into IT assets, foster an alignment between business and IT and help avoid costly missteps by assuring that the technologies implemented will meet future needs.
- IBM Design Services for SOA help customers create a specific plan and architectural design for an SOA.? It identifies benefits and challenges of implementing an SOA and provides designs and specifications targeted to areas identified by IBM Business Enablement Services for Service-Oriented Architecture.??
- IBM Implementation Services for SOA builds and deploys targeted aspects of a customer?s SOA vision and roadmap.??
- IBM Management Services for SOA provides ongoing performance monitoring, maintenance and requirements verification to help assure the SOA is proactively managed for optimal business value.??
The company calls these "asset-based services" -- a combination of software code, intellectual property and best practices generated through?engagements with many customers in?many industries. It's an awkward term, but the idea is attractive.
"Asset-based services will dramatically impact the way customers deploy Service-Oriented Architectures," said Michael Liebow, vice president of Web services and SOA for IBM Global Services. ?"Many customers experience similar problems in deploying an SOA. Packaging best practices and software code generated from experience with thousands of customers into asset-based services offerings help us to reduce the risk and increase the value to customers faster."??
This may prove to be an attractive way to position SOA offerings in an environment of constricted IT budgets. UK-based Standard Life has used an SOA approach to cost-effectively link up 250 business services?including pension quotations, direct debit authorization and fulfillment checks.
"You can't go to the business and ask for a chunk of money because it's not there," Liebow said. "You have to rationalize it into a discreet set of projects that will generate a significant return within 12 months. You can either do that yourself or leverage our best practices."