The puzzle for a while now has been how to provide ‘adaptive’ capabilities internally to support the more frequent changes that the business needs, and in the last few Blogs I have been arguing for this to become augmented by an external factor around ‘awareness’, or the opening of the edge of the business to the people and market beyond. The logical conclusion is that this can only make things worse as now a degree of the forces of change are now longer within the control of the Business!
Well in the last year and half I must have met with more people to discuss this very problem with, than most will have had the opportunity to do, and the resulting sharing of thoughts, experiences and ideas with those in Technology, Business Schools and perhaps most important of all real operational managers has given rise to the following conceptual approach. The key is to visualise your enterprise as represented by a diamond shaped outline (see diagram and notes)
As you will have noticed this brings together most of the major challenges into a single integrated conceptual model. It’s really three separate requirements that meet and combine through the common open standards/ open source layer whether the transactions are internal or external. Why take this approach? Several clear trends can be observed; first the growing numbers of both business and technology standards by which every enterprise will communicate with every other enterprise; second the need for increased compliance management on the data centric aspects of managing a business; the increasing opening up of the edge of the business to people and services interacting around shared sources.
Each of these trends has been driving requirements and resulting solutions, but somewhat inevitably they have been dealt with individually. This is happening enough to lead to people starting to say that SOA doesn’t work in reducing costs, or time. Most probably true as long as it’s limited to a project at time approach for the delivery of the types of projects in the ‘business as usual’ area of the bottom half of the triangle. It’s the overall impact that is the important piece just as ERP refined the approach of the multitude of Client Server applications.
The top of the diamond is very different in that you are encouraging interactions deliberately taking the walls down, therefore it must be treated as an insecure area, hence why it should connect in the same manner as an external resource and through the same services. Anyway I am sure you get the idea, and in the case of the top half of the diamond currently there is an explosion of activity so there will be many ideas on what and how this might develop coming out of this Blog!
Comments, feedbacks and views on this concept are welcomed!!