Thursday, December 14, 2006

SOA, funding and hidden gems

There are some good posts on services and their characteristics. The main thought of these posts, is to bring out characteristics of an enterprise service. There is a comparison between city planning and SOA. A thought encourages different granularity of services to co-exists with an anlogy to niche retailers v/s Walmart.

However the way projects are funded in enterprise IT will hinder this approach. Enterprise IT, as far as funding goes, is governed more like a communist polit-buro than a capitalist entreuprunial system. There are no venture-capitalists ready to fund (seemingly) wild-vackey ideas. They would rather go with proven ways of doing things. So the idea of having niche services co-existing with run-of-the-mill enterprise services is a non-starter. That does not mean it will not happen.

Traditionally departments moon-light on their budgets and create fundings for these niche capabilities (albeit not in services form), but then those capabilities remain outside perview of enterprise architecture and remain in back-alleys, hidden in enterprise hiddenware. Which also prevents proper utilisation of these capabilities. Same thing can happen in an SOA. Departments will create niche services, and somehow fund them. But these services will be below the radar for rest of the enterprise.

An enterprise architect, has to live with this fact of life and provide means to unearth such hidden gems and bring them back to EA fold for governance. As mentioned in the posts mentioned above, a collection of such niche services may be a viable alternative to a coarse grained enterprise service, only if we know such niche services exist.

Solving the funding issue, to borrow a term from Ms. Madeline Albright,is beyond payscales of most enterprise architects and best left to business leaders to figure out!

1 comment:

biske said...

Great post. I'd argue that the problem is broader than funding, it's really the project definition process. My suspicion is that no one is even proposing the right project to allow services to be written appropriately, but rather, service development is buried in some user facing project which imposes constraints on the amount of analysis that can be done on services. I commented on this in my blog entry Portfolio Management and SOA.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SOA, funding and hidden gems

There are some good posts on services and their characteristics. The main thought of these posts, is to bring out characteristics of an enterprise service. There is a comparison between city planning and SOA. A thought encourages different granularity of services to co-exists with an anlogy to niche retailers v/s Walmart.

However the way projects are funded in enterprise IT will hinder this approach. Enterprise IT, as far as funding goes, is governed more like a communist polit-buro than a capitalist entreuprunial system. There are no venture-capitalists ready to fund (seemingly) wild-vackey ideas. They would rather go with proven ways of doing things. So the idea of having niche services co-existing with run-of-the-mill enterprise services is a non-starter. That does not mean it will not happen.

Traditionally departments moon-light on their budgets and create fundings for these niche capabilities (albeit not in services form), but then those capabilities remain outside perview of enterprise architecture and remain in back-alleys, hidden in enterprise hiddenware. Which also prevents proper utilisation of these capabilities. Same thing can happen in an SOA. Departments will create niche services, and somehow fund them. But these services will be below the radar for rest of the enterprise.

An enterprise architect, has to live with this fact of life and provide means to unearth such hidden gems and bring them back to EA fold for governance. As mentioned in the posts mentioned above, a collection of such niche services may be a viable alternative to a coarse grained enterprise service, only if we know such niche services exist.

Solving the funding issue, to borrow a term from Ms. Madeline Albright,is beyond payscales of most enterprise architects and best left to business leaders to figure out!

1 comment:

biske said...

Great post. I'd argue that the problem is broader than funding, it's really the project definition process. My suspicion is that no one is even proposing the right project to allow services to be written appropriately, but rather, service development is buried in some user facing project which imposes constraints on the amount of analysis that can be done on services. I commented on this in my blog entry Portfolio Management and SOA.