Scaling SOA with Complex Systems Engineering
Ever since ZapThink published our Business Agility as an Emergent Property of SOA ZapFlash, we’ve been explaining in our Licensed ZapThink Architect course how SOA implementations must be complex systems in order to deliver on emergent properties like business agility. Yet, even though we’ve expanded our treatment of Complex Systems Engineering (CSE) in the latest version of the course, the reaction of most of our students is typically one of perplexity. Not that we’re really surprised, however. Breaking away from the Traditional Systems Engineering (TSE) way of thinking is a huge leap for most technologists, as it shakes to the foundation how they think about architecture, not just SOA in particular, but even more fundamentally, the role IT plays in the enterprise. Complex Systems: Order from Chaos in Nature Complex systems theory is especially fascinating because it describes how many natural phenomena occur. Whenever…

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The Christmas Day Bomber, Moore’s Law, and Enterprise IT
Amid the posturing and recriminations following this past December’s ill-fated terrorist attack by the Nigerian Christmas bomber, the underlying cause of the intelligence breach has gone all but unnoticed. how is it the global post-9/11 anti-terrorist machine could miss a lone Nigerian with explosives in his underwear? After all, chatter included reference to “the Nigerian,” his own father gave warning, he was on a terrorist watch list, and he purchased a one-way ticket to Detroit, paid cash, and checked no luggage. You’d think any one of these bits of information would set off alarms, and the fact that the intelligence community missed the lot is a sign of sheer incompetence, right? Not so fast. Such a conclusion is actually fallacious. The missing piece of the puzzle is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of monthly air travelers, and millions of weekly messages that constitutes the chatter the intelligence…

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The Four Stages of SOA Governance
For several years now, ZapThink has spoken about SOA Governance “in the narrow” vs. SOA governance “in the broad.” SOA governance in the narrow refers to governance of the SOA initiative, and focuses primarily on the Service lifecycle. When vendors try to sell you SOA governance gear, they’re typically talking about SOA governance in the narrow. SOA governance in the broad, in contrast, refers to IT governance in the SOA context. In other words, how will SOA help with IT governance (and by extension, corporate governance) once your SOA initiative is up and running? In both our Licensed ZapThink Architect Boot Camp as well as our newer SOA and Cloud Governance Course, we also point out how governance typically involves human communication-centric activities like architecture reviews, human management, and people deciding to comply with policies. We point out this human context for governance to contrast it to the…

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Cloud Governance: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed…
As we predicted earlier in the year, Cloud computing is starting to take hold, especially if you believe the marketing literature of vendors and consulting firms. Yet, we are seeing an increasing number of Cloud success stories, ranging from simplistic consumption of utility Services and offloading of compute resources to the sort of application and process clouds we discussed in a previous ZapFlash. Perhaps the reason why usage of the Cloud is still nascent in the enterprise is because of an increasing chorus of concerns being voiced about the usage of Cloud resources: Cloud availability. Cloud security. Erosion of data integrity. Data replication and consistency issues. Potential loss of privacy. Lack of auditing and logging visibility. Potential for regulatory violations. Application sprawl & dependencies. Inappropriate usage of Services. Difficulty in managing intra-Cloud, inter-Cloud, and Cloud and non-Cloud interactions and resources. And that’s just the short list.

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Lightweight SOA in a Down Economy
During economic downturns companies are pushed to reduce costs and increase agility. SOA is a concrete proposition to overcome these challenges. However, the high-cost high-risk SOA projects era is approaching to an end. Join us in this webinar to understand how a lightweight SOA may help you to succeed reducing cost and increasing agility at your company. In this Webinar, ZapThink discussed the following topics: IT Decision Making During a Down Economy Focus on Iterative, Process-Driven SOA Efforts Recover Costs with SOA SOA on a Super-tight Budget Lightweight SOA Governance 14-slide PowerPoint presentation in pdf format.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Subscribe Today to Get Access![/hide]…

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Lightweight SOA in a Down Economy
The current economic downturn has shifted the focus of most organizations from business growth to a simple survival mode. Chief Information Officers are spending more time on difficult cost-cutting decisions than on being more competitive and responding to business change. At the same time, these same businesses predict that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a critically important tool for helping companies deal with the crisis, since it helps avoid redundant capabilities, reduce IT costs, improve time to market, and position the organization for success once the economy improves. The question then is what should companies focus on to survive these times while at the same time make the right IT investments to become more competitive when the good times are back. These practices include transparency, a ruthless focus on return on investment, and increased emphasis on governance. Choosing the right tools for SOA Governance that enable organizations to manage assets,…

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