Whereas tactical ROI focuses on quick wins, operational ROI aims more at generating value through reuse of capabilities and services over time. In the short-to-medium time frame, SOA can provide an ROI in the form of supporting day-to-day operations through enterprise asset reuse. Enterprise reuse has really taken center stage with many Fortune 500 companies as a key way to reduce development and maintenance costs and speed time to market. Through the use of standard protocols and messaging formats as well as loosely coupled interfaces, service and business process reuse has been given real momentum by SOA.
Understanding Operational ROI
Case studies and industry research reveal some pretty startling efficiencies available through reuse. Developing a solution by reusing existing components and business rules can reduce costs by as much as 75% (though most metrics peg the number closer to 20%). Maintenance cost savings are even more significant, with some research identifying a 5 times or even 10 times savings factor.
The key is to identify areas of commonality between legacy systems and build common services and/or processes. These common services may be developed locally or provided via a third party such as the government, a business partner, or a service vendor. Common services may be developed for a particular line of business or may support an entire enterprise. Christopher Crowhurst, Vice President and principal architect at Thomson Learning, described ...