Welcome!

Log Management Authors: Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, Recurring Revenue, Log Management

Microservices Expo: Article

Innovate with SOA - II

It Helps If You Can Find Your Assets With Both Hands

This article originally appeared in NOW Magazine, which retains all rights.

One way for IT execs (and their business-line compadres) to get a handle on innovation is, first to inventory all their existing assets. Determine the value of these assets (such things as hardware that can run a thousand user applications, an application that checks credit, a service call that looks up a customer record) then work to leverage them by exposing them as heterogeneous services rather than siloed applications. The services-based approach to IT is not new at this point in time. But it is still a novel idea to many organizations to begin to inculcate innovation by liberating the services within existing assets and rebuilding those services into a services-oriented architecture (or SOA).

“Imagine all assets being a portfolio of innovation,” says a software executive interviewed recently by NOW Magazine. This includes legacy assets, and yes, this includes legacy mainframe assets. Not the “hairball” of Sun Chairman Scott McNealy’s piquant description, mainframes instead should be viewed as potential repositories of “gems and jewels,” according to this exec, who points out that “innovation doesn’t have to sit in one area.”

It’s clear that regardless of the innovation game, SOA is a required strategy based on the need to reduce IT expenses through massive re-use and flexibility. As companies realize the role SOA can play in completely rebalancing the maintainance-to-innovation spend, the demand for “service-orienting” everything should take off, by this reasoning. The potential for exponential growth in services will lead to new complexities and challenges, of course. So then the question becomes, how will these services be developed into composite applications, deployed, managed and governed?

End-users, after all, whether employees, partners, or customers, don’t get their groove on, at least these days, by mastering the intricacies of siloed, specific application environments. It’s what those apps can do—the services they can provide—that rock users’ worlds today.

Service virtualization rocks IT managers’ worlds as well. When services become pervasive, how are you going to manage them? How do you deploy, then govern them? This is where SOA boldly steps in. Repeating the mantra that SOA is not a product, you can’t buy a SOA, it is imperative to realize that you can build one.

This is where virtualization escapes the confines of buzzwordism and enters the realm of the practical. When assets are pulled out—decoupled, liberated, decomposed, whatever term you wish to use—of legacy systems and integrated into new, composite applications, web services, or nascent SOAs, they must be virtualized, and here is where the concept of “service virtualization” gains traction.

We’ve been down the virtualization road before, quite recently, in fact. With hardware and applications becoming increasingly pervasive, so grew the challenge to effectively use these assets, and virtualization blossomed. People familiar with age-old concepts such as virtual memory and virtualized storage suddenly needed to wrap their minds around the virtualization of hardware platforms (not just the storage subsystems) and the software that resided on these systems.

Once down this virtual path, it requires only a minor leap of faith to envision service virtualization. As applications become virtualized, it becomes clear that the value of those apps lies within the services they deliver. So those services must be pried out, then integrated into the new, virtualized environment.

We’re All Architects Today
Without getting hung up on the role of the architect, it is clear—paraphrasing Richard Nixon’s comment about Keynesian economics--that we are all architects today. That is, all members of the IT department as well as business-line managers must think conceptually—think innovatively—about their IT assets, infrastructure, and what it should be doing for the business.

SOA can serve as the secret sauce in letting your company start to turn your innovation spend inside out, to start to reverse that seemingly intransigent 80/20 ratio. “Don’t look at existing assets as closed assets,” says one software executive. “Leverage them to start to reverse 80/20.”

Innovative services are created and deployed by thinking in this new, open way. The innovation may lie in creating a new interface that lets users access numerous applications while they are completing what looks to them like a single process. The innovation may lie in faster performance that allows a new feature or two (perhaps a quick survey or bonus offer) to be added to the process. Or the innovation may lie in the creation of an entirely new experience—a community-oriented asset-sharing service, for example—that nevertheless leverages something as wizened as a long-existing relational database.

NOW Magazine bills its focus as “Enterprise Architecture Principles and Practices.” Best practices typically form the core of the ubiquitous Centers of Excellence that one finds at major technology provisioners and buyers throughout the world today. But why not turn those Centers of Excellence into Centers of Innovation? In fact, “practices” today can also refer to “next practices,” and core to innovation is the concept of identifying next practices, making them operational, setting them up as best practices, then moving on in a constant innovation loop.

Many universities have developed such centers, as have various entrepreneurial incubator-type organizations. But this brings back to the nature and definition of innovation. Rather than seeking to build that better mousetrap, a corporate Center of Innovation can focus on those Best Practices that understand all IT assets as gems and jewels, and work to reverse the ratio in ways that don’t reflect a zero-sum game mentality. Are you up to this challenge? Have you already risen to it?

Follow the author at www.twitter.com/strukhoff or www.nowmagazineblog.blogspot.com

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...