"Give businesspeople a reason to care about SOA; give them BPM [Business process management]."
That's the advice given by Kaushal Mashruwala in an article just published in Financial Express. Kaushal makes a lot of sense, because BPM is a strategy that business executives and managers identify with very closely (as the success of their jobs depends upon it).
Will business process management make SOA more digestible?
SOA, as discussed many times at this blogsite, has issues with business acceptance -- or even awareness, for that matter. As Jack van Hoof put it not too long ago: "I haven't meet one single business manager who begged me to please deliver him an SOA-based solution."
All too often, Kaushal points out, SOA is seen as a buzzword, and, to a large degree, "just another way to implement an application."
However, add BPM to the mix, and infusing it with SOA, business managers will have more power to change, through technology, the way their businesses are run, he observes.
"The management philosophy of BPM empowers business people to think about the processes that affect their day-to-day lives and operations. It gives them a new role in defining requirements, on their terms, and creates a common language for business and IT to address real implementation level concerns. This role of BPM as the business face of SOA is not just a possibility. It’s happening now."
Perhaps we won't have to force the issue of fusing SOA and BPM, it may be occurring naturally. As posted a couple of weeks back (with a rousing talkback discussion), BPM, SOA, and Enterprise Architecture may be all the same thing underneath in the long run anyway. As Richard Lendvai commented, "It's architecture, period." He goes on to add that "architecture in general is about the enterprise's capability to work in an orderly manner, be specific in designs end to deliver results to the business. It has little to do with modelling, paradigms and other hype-stuff."