Kathleen Ohlson writes about the new SOA Maturity Model endorsed by leading players that allows IT managers and decision makers to assess their teams, projects and overall organizational capabilities. The model defines five levels of maturity: initial services, architected services, business and collaborating services, measured business services, and optimized business services. The framework is modeled along the lines of SEI –CMM models.
Level 1 - Initial services focus on the application development and integration aspects of SOA. This level helps managers identify what function will be turned into a service, while figuring out technology needs and the best SOA approach.
Level II - Architected services identify development and deployment savings through SOA, compared to using legacy applications or multiple one-time projects.
Level III - IT and business departments can determine the best way to implement internal and external business processes through business and collaborative services, respectively.
Level IV - Measured business services display processes to decision makers, so they know how SOA is impacting the business.
Level V – Optimised services enable IT and managers to view how SOA becomes an enterprise’s nervous system, such as automatically taking action when a business rule kicks in. I am really surprised that business models could be defined so simplistically.
My Take: Aligning information technology (IT) systems using services-oriented architecture (SOA) to provide end-to-end enterprise integration and virtualized IT services is a very involved effort. The SOA paradigm needs to be extended to transform organizational structures and behavioral practices. That means a whole host of technological, economic, governance issues needs to be assessed and addressed appropriately. New organizational structure that optimizes the workforce and streamlines cross-unit processes to leverage the new IT systems would have to be carefully thought out and implemented. An interwoven mixture of technological solutions, organizational structures and cultural underpinning is the key towards enduring success of SOA centric business transformations.