Chapter 8. SOA and the Organization

THIS CHAPTER WILL DISCUSS HOW SOA’S DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING AFFECTS THE ORGANIZATION AND structure of companies and enterprises. We’ll focus on key success factors of SOA that impact organizations as a whole. As a consequence, you will come to understand why SOA is fundamentally a business strategy rather than an IT strategy.

Roles and Organizations

Chapter 7 discussed different ways of designing business processes and services. One question not discussed was who (or which role, from an organizational point of view) is responsible for such designs. This leads to the general question of responsibility for distributed processes.

From Monolithic Systems to Distribution

SOA is a concept for distributed systems. But while distributed processes are a reality now, systems and companies are often formally structured in a way that doesn’t really support distribution. The dominating structures of companies are departments, which maintain specific systems that have grown over the years. These systems typically started out as projects, but the results of those projects needed to be maintained, so corresponding departments were founded. Now, when these companies need some new functionality, they tend to either give the corresponding task to an existing department, which realizes the new functionality in its monolithic system, or launch a new project, which results in a new department being created. The departments usually have their own client applications, so ...

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