A SOA Centre of Excellence (CoE), will make the most of companies’ existing systems and features, helping harmonise them with new solution architecture. This saves time and money, and increases efficiency.
As a specialist IT integration company, we have seen good, bad and ugly IT integrations. In fact we see it as integration best practice. Having a CoE in place seems such a no-brainer to us, so we’re surprised how often companies are willing to invest substantially into creating new services or integrations, but are unwilling to put the required governance in place to catalogue and leverage these resources fully.
Reports from Gartner confirm that taking a short-term approach can have serious consequences. One report warned that SOA projects are likely to fail unless they are tightly managed and audited. They go on to recommend that IT directors establish a dedicated IT integration team to oversee the development of new services.
It takes teamwork
There are a few ways to structure a CoE, depending on the size of the company. It would usually contain an enterprise architect and a business process architect. Between them, they should be familiar with how applications are developed and how business processes work within the organisation. Ideally these roles would be internal rather than outsourced. However sometimes it can be useful to have consultants help set up a CoE to begin with.
Other roles within the CoE can include information security specialists, data modelling and information management specialists, business analysts, IT governance professionals and SOA governance analysts. These would identify and catalogue software assets that are susceptible to reuse and to align any future demands with company strategy. Roles can be filled temporarily if needed, or in larger companies you could have a permanent team in place.
Among other things, these roles would work together to build a SOA Governance Framework, which rely on a Service Repository which catalogues the services which connect software applications together.
6 key reasons to consider CoE now
- At some point you will need an overview of all your system integrations or services, rather than just an overview of the applications themselves.
- Having a holistic understanding of your integration environment will save you money.
- Having a good CoE in operation will save you time.
- Having good SOA Governance will ultimately create more independence of software suppliers and consultants.
- With a CoE, you will have more resilience to integration problems as there is a team which owns the integrations.
- The devil is in the detail – using disparate vocabulary to describe your terms is a disaster waiting to happen.
The Integrella approach to CoE
We offer a few approaches on CoE depending on the maturity of the company:
- We can help you set up and document your own CoE and team OR
- We can set up and run your CoE for you
- We offer different services to suit your needs
- We partner with a number of technology vendors to suit your IT set up
Drop us a line using the form on the right to discuss the best approach for you, or read some of the articles below by clicking on the images.