Essentials Report

Topic Overview: Service-Oriented Architecture

June 8th, 2007
With contributors:
Mike Gilpin , Henry Peyret , Jacqueline Stone , Ken Vollmer


Some think of service-oriented architecture (SOA) as just Web services standards to achieve better application integration. However, SOA is gaining recognition as a key element of strategic business transformation — a much higher level of business impact than mere application integration. In their most strategic usage, SOA-based business services provide a modular, digital-world implementation of your business, ready to connect to any customer, employee, supplier, or partner wherever and whenever. SOA increases both business and application flexibility by changing your style of design, deployment, and management of applications and software infrastructure. Web services add value to SOA through a standards-based ecosystem and open access via loose technology coupling. SOA's ability to save IT costs and build business flexibility has driven broad adoption: 62% of enterprises are using or will use SOA by the end of 2007, and 40% of enterprises are using SOA for strategic business transformation. SOA is applicable to a broad range of business scenarios, and every organization should investigate SOA to learn where and how it can benefit.

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