By Mala Ramakrishnan on Apr 12, 2013
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has completely transformed IT from the time it was introduced well over a decade ago. Organizations have been re-plumbing their infrastructure for reusability, efficiency and gain and succeeding with it. Best practices have emerged and people and technology have matured. We have gotten better at delivering on a stable platform for delivering on mission critical applications and services.
Yet, there is this one secret that sets some SOA customers apart from the others. These companies grow and revolutionize their business and not just transform their IT infrastructure. The differences seem subtle for an untrained eye examining these organizations externally. And from within the company, it’s a bit like an ant sitting on an elephant, hard to differentiate between the IT trunk and business tail.
What is it that some organizations do differently that makes them succeed beyond SOA?
These organizations pull in business people more and more to weigh into their IT decisions. They wrench understanding process over services. They don’t settle easily when bridging business metrics and IT performance. They anguish over business requirements not translating seamlessly and quickly into IT. IT is not just an enabler but a pillar that revolutionizes their business. Okay, I’ll give it to you. These organizations layer Business Process Management (BPM) on top of their SOA.
Think about lifeblood business processes in your own organizations. If you are Fedex, this would be shipping and handling. If you are Stanford Hospital, this would be patient case-management: from on-boarding through discharge and follow-up care. If you are Wells Fargo, this would be loan origination. Now think about how your SOA ties into your business process. Can you decouple your business processes from your SOA so that the two can transform and change independent of each other? Can you forecast success metrics for your business process, make the changes across the board and then look back over different periods of time to see if you are on track? Are your critical business processes entrenched in the minds of few experts in your organization or does everyone from the receptionist to your enterprise architect to your CEO understand what they can do to revolutionize it?
Business Process Management is a superset of SOA. It’s the process of getting your business to articulate business value and metrics and have it implemented in IT without any loss in translation. It’s the act of extracting the business process from the minds of experts and IT applications in your organization and valuing them as assets for performance and gain. BPM is stepping outside your SOA and moving your organization to the next level of innovation.
Oracle is accelerating BPM across industries with the latest launch. Join us to understand how BPM can give your organization a cutting edge over your SOA.