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Bringing BTO to SOA

Chris Lochhead is almost always interesting -- and amusing. In an insightful interview with the flamboyant chief marketing officer of Mercury Interactive, Chris Jablonski gets some forward-looking perspectives on the three layers of IT that must be managed as we turn it into a business driver as opposed to a mere mechanism of support.

Chris Lochhead is almost always interesting -- and amusing. In an insightful interview with the flamboyant chief marketing officer of Mercury Interactive, Chris Jablonski gets some forward-looking perspectives on the three layers of IT that must be managed as we turn it into a business driver as opposed to a mere mechanism of support. At the top layer, one finds application delivery and management -- an activity hampered by a situation (as Lochhead asserts) where 80 percent of applications go untested before they’re deployed.  

Lochhead also goes on to argues that business technology optimization (BTO) -- a disciplined approach to IT governance -- is critical if SOA is to thrive. "If you are not doing BTO for SOA then you are SOL," he says. With the decoupling and reusable aspects of service-oriented architectures, businesses are shifting from a small number of large applications to a large number of small applications, which heightens the need for management. "If you don’t have monitors, then one person can modify a SOA component and cause an entire application to come down," he adds.

Finally, he encourages developers and IT managers to take an incremental approach to SOA and other IT-oriented projects. As Lochhead memorably puts it, " Never eat anything bigger than your head."