Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This week in links - week 23, 2008

"Already Got an ESB? Read This Before Proceeding with SOA" by Loraine Lawson:

I also couldn’t understand why some people were so passionate about warning us about ESBs as SOA – particular when, as Joe McKendrick recently pointed out,
so many organizations are using ESBs as a simple and useful path to SOA. But after reading this ZapFlash on ESBs and SOA, I finally get it why this is such a hot issue – and a particularly important one for those of you just embarking on service-oriented architecture, but already invested in an ESB solution or two.

ZapThink managing partner Jason Bloomberg does the best job I’ve seen of explaining why this topic is so important and, more importantly, putting ESBs in their place, so to speak. As Bloomberg explains it, the problem isn’t so much whether or not you use an ESB, but rather, how you use it — an important distinction. He says committing to an ESB too early in the process of developing your SOA “substantially increases your risk of failure.”

"IBM’s Zollar: SOA, Web 2.0 drive IT ‘industrialization’" by Joe McKendrick:

It can be argued that SOA itself is a manifestation of IT industrialization, since the methodology promotes the mass production and mass consumption of reusable services, versus custom-crafted applications. Zollar makes the point that SOA, along with Web 2.0 methodologies, are taxing the IT operations expected to support these new approaches, and that the operations themselves need to be “industrialized.

...IT industrialization has only begun...//...Those cursed silos are holding us back again! Of course, SOA — and now Web 2.0 approaches — are breaking down those silos, and, in the process, making it easier and more cost-effective to mass-produce software for the masses. The challenge is that while SOA and Web 2.0 are accelerating the mass production and consumption of software, IT teams are still trying to keep up on a piecemeal, if not manual basis. This calls for deeper automation, or industrialization, of the operations behind the applications, Zollar said.

"Learn from MDM Early Adopters: People & Process Will Continue To Trump Technology" by R “Ray” Wang and Rob Karel:

You'd be hard pressed today to locate a senior executive at a large, public company who hasn't stood in front of her employees, customers, or shareholders and announced that the company's corporate data is a critical asset that must be nurtured and protected. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, MDM requires much more than rhetoric to survive its adoption barriers. The most common roadblocks cited by early adopters and successful implementation teams include:

  • Considering MDM as purely a technology initiative. IT organizations still drive and sponsor many MDM initiatives. Business stakeholders who ultimately define the value of these efforts in improving their business processes provide minimal participation and sponsorship.
  • Managing the vast complexity of multiple data domains without proper techniques.
  • Assuming that dirty data is just an IT problem. Poor data quality is a critical business barrier.
  • Prioritizing funding and managing costs.
  • Underestimating the level of executive sponsorship required for success.

"Corporate Information: Asset vs Liability" by David Vellante:

CIOs in regulated and information-intensive businesses (finance, pharmaceuticals, and others) have begun to consider information value in the context of a balance sheet. On the one hand, information is a differentiator and a vital ingredient of transacting business. On the flip side, information has rapidly become a corporate liability where organizations can be charged with wrongdoing based on the discovery of electronic information contained in emails and other non-structured data types.

In the next five years, CIOs face a challenge between introducing technologies to limit corporate risk while at the same time delivering information services that improve business productivity. This is not straightforward...//...the CIO must consider information in the context of risk and value, then balance the tensions between the desire to grow a business and the need to mitigate risk. Make no mistake, as you use technology to limit liabilities, you will handcuff parts of your organization, and information value will decrease.

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