Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This week in links - week 49, 2008

"Building Social Capital: the secret to SOA success" by Richard Watson

I’ve followed my own advice this week and stepped out of my comfort zone. This week’s Burton Group Inflection Point podcast features my foray into socio-organizationomics to discuss social capital as the secret sauce in SOA success stories. Here's the direct link to the audio. All InflectionPoint podcasts are also available on iTunes.

Our much discussed SOA contextual research study earlier in the year involved dozens of service-oriented architecture (SOA) initiative leaders. The goal was to uncover in-depth data on SOA roadmap dynamics and success factors. This contextual research study and the hundred of discussions we’ve had with our clients over 5 years, confirms our position – a position now resonating widely - that the greatest challenges to SOA success are cultural and organizational, rather than technical.
Reflection: Changing how humans behave is always more difficult than changing how the technology behaves.

"Study: Only one out of five SOA efforts bearing fruit" by Joe McKendrick:
What about that 20% (presumably four companies) that saw success with SOA? The Burton Group found that success came to SOA proponents who pay attention to the cultural shift that needs to take place within the business, cemented by good governance. The successful businesses had what Anne called “incredibly inspiring” stories to tell.

Here are the common denominators Burton Group found within the successful
efforts:

  • Business and IT reorganization, usually with a new CIO coming on
    board
  • Sponsorship at the C-level or by the Board of Directors
  • Agile/iterative development methodologies put into place
  • Projects tied to and measured by business goals, not IT drivers
  • Well-defined funding and maintenance models that balance the needs of service providers and consumers
  • A simplified architecture, making it easier to access and manage quality data
  • A culture of trust between business and IT
Reflection: Aren't these success factors the same for almost any large IT initiative?

"Two Paths For Information Management Pros In An Economic Downturn" by Matthew Brown:

So it strikes me that the downturn could take one of two paths for IM pros. Those that can't communicate the connection between information management practices, workforce productivity, and business process will find it increasingly hard to fund new projects. Many will be asked by the business to build more transparency into their costs - across staff, software, and hardware expenditures - in order to justify their very existence. Conversely, those information management professionals that can articulate the value of information management tools and practices, may just find themselves helping to pioneer substantial changes to how people work. After all, it's a lot easier to bring about change when there's burning reason to do so, like this economy.

Reflection: I would say that IM professionals that cannot articulate the value of IM tools and practices are not getting what Information Management is about. Here's an analogy that explains what IM is essentially about.

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