The truth about web and services?
What’s the truth about web and services? A question that is often asked when I speak with customers about the current status of ERP packages (SAP in particular) and their possibilities in implementing Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Most customers still consider SOA as a difficult platform that requires large changes in their infrastructure and architecture, therefore avoiding the subject as much as possible.
Analysts however argue that companies should already start with implementing SOA and identify what the impact is in order to come to a true strategy.
But where to start? One approach is building on current web strategies. Companies start with identifying services that they can deliver to their customers. Building on their experience in web strategies, new web services are being identified and offered using a more service-oriented approach.
I would also like to challenge companies to explore their internal opportunities. Cost centers !!!!!. When discussing with customers, it appears that a lot of opportunities can be found within the walls of the organisation. It’s the supporting department that really operates as a cost center. How can these departments leverage SOA to increase value to the company?
Tom Peters argues in his book “Re-imagine” that the Cost Center has no future. In his opinion, if you are a cost center and act as one, you should be outsourced, since others will bring more value towards it. He argues that the cost center needs to transform in a Professional Service Firm (PSF). While discussing with customers we see a lot of possibilities to create a more service-oriented approach to support the processes of Cost Centers.
This could lead to the following benefits:
(1) think about the value creation at you cost center
(2) experiment with the implementation of SOA
(3) identify how the new services can also be of benefit to your customers.
2008 is almost there, a good moment to get a new view on your organisation and architecture.