Open Group: let's bring SOA out of its shell, once and for all

New Open Group guide reinforces the enterprise architectural approach needed for SOA to deliver business value, versus IT department optimization.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Where's the business value in SOA?

That's a question that constantly gets asked, and the Open Group says it has a way to answer it -- through its TOGAF certification program.

That's the gist of a new guide, “Using TOGAF to Define and Govern Service-Oriented Architectures," now available for free download.

"In most cases, organizations approach SOA by limiting the scope to individual solution implementation projects –- using it purely as a tool to group software functions into services described by some standard interface," explains Awel Dico, Ph.D., enterprise architect for the Bank of Montreal, and one of the guide's leading authors.

By applying the enterprise architctural principles outlined in TOGAF, "then SOA concepts can be incorporated into the strategy by indentifying the business areas or segments in the enterprise that benefit from a SOA approach. Likewise, the strategy could point out the areas in which SOA is not adding any value to the business. This allows users to identify the expected key metrics from the start and focus their SOA investment on high-value projects."

Limiting SOA’s scope to solution projects "makes it hard for individual projects to justify the investment in service infrastructure," Dico adds. "As a result they fall back to their tactical implementation which cannot be reused by other projects down the road."

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