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Enterprise SOA by Thomas Mattern, Dan Woods

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Chapter THREE. Evolving Toward ESA

You might wonder, "What are we getting ourselves into with ESA? This isn't just about the technology, is it?" ESA isn't "just" about anything. ESA is about changing all dimensions of IT so that every dollar spent, every week of work, every project completed, moves a company toward a new world in which IT is transformed from a no to a yes. Too often today, the answers that IT must provide amount to a no to ideas for innovation. Can we change a process, integrate a partner, offer a new service, outsource a key function? If a project is too expensive or takes too long, the answer, in effect, is no.

However, most organizations would not be ready if IT were suddenly transformed to say yes because the flexibility of ESA expanded the world of the possible. It is similar to the situation that radio frequency identification (RFID) and other real-world awareness technologies present. If most companies instantly turned on RFID and began monitoring real-time information, a flood of data would fill up their databases and disk drives, but those organizations would be able to understand the value of the information in only a few domains at a time. Once the organizations understood the information, they would have to change their processes and systems to take advantage of it. How fast would this happen? Not fast. What would be the impact on the organization? Probably huge. What would a company look like afterward? Probably a lot more responsive, with a new set ...

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