In December, I attended the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in Las Vegas. This was my first Gartner conference, and I have to say I came away impressed. The quality of the presentations was excellent and the speakers were very polished. The main focus for me during the conference was Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), Master Data Management (MDM), and Business Process Management (BPM). I have been selling the benefits of SOA for some time and hope that after attending this event we are finally ready to start implementing.
What are we looking to gain from SOA? First, I'll paraphrase what Gartner defines as SOA. It's about how to design a system with an architectural style that is modular, distributable, discoverable, swappable, and shareable. Given that definition, we are looking to improve our agility through improved responsiveness to business changes and improved developer productivity. I'm excited about the opportunity to lead this initiative and anxious to get started. My vision is to start with a centralized team that will focus on governance, service portfolio management, development, and support. We will focus on data driven services as I believe that is where the most short-term value is and will help us move our MDM initiative along as well. The team will very quickly need to become more involved with our business leaders in order to provide long-term value providing services that actually meet business needs. Finally, once we have some core services available, BPM will become a much more viable option for our business users.
The possibility of enterprises services working on a core set of master data that is accessible with a variety of applications and business processes is an exciting opportunity that has me driven. I'll provide an update on how we're doing in a future blog. If you have experience in this area, or suggestions on where to start, please let me know.