Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Microservices Expo, Release Management

Artificial Intelligence: Article

What Is Service Orientation?

On the importance of achieving true business agility

Businesses tend to focus their architecture on efficiency instead of agility. This clear distinction between optimising for the known versus optimising for the unknown inherently counteracts on businesses in their effort to seize any of the new opportunities that arises around them.

This article emphasises the importance of architecting enterprise wide systems with quality capabilities and a service orientation that more properly reflects business agility and enables new opportunities to create much more focused, efficient, and adaptable organisational structures.

Describing the problem domain

Desirable as it might be, delivering agility is not straightforward as the following obstacles must be overcome: [7, 9]

  • Organisational culture and project orientation. In the same way that project orientation inhibited the reuse of components, it may also stifle agility. The needs of the business as a whole will not be considered, and generalised services that may be applicable elsewhere will not be delivered.
  • Short term thinking. The pressure to meet immediate requirements leaves no scope to discuss future needs. This might not in itself prevent IT from trying to introduce the principles outlined here, but make it difficult to discuss and agree them with the business.
  • Risk management culture. Without strong risk-analysis processes, most companies gravitate towards one of two extremes, over-exposure or over-insurance. These qualities are reflected onto all aspects of the company.
  • Business secrecy. Whilst the business may desire agility, it may not necessarily want to share the business strategies with IT that might require agile solutions.
  • Ability to abstract and generalise. The skills required are not always common in the technical staff, particularly if it also requires sufficient familiarity with the business to be able to abstract and generalise the business concepts.

Furthermore it is important to notice a special trait that is unbeknownst to many business and IT professionals, but is accepted as the root-cause of this entire problem domain, namely that every system built inherently restricts the organisation into a certain way of thinking and cements the companies into functioning the way business worked when the system was built.
Despite recent improvement the last decade many companies still build systems that are legacy the moment they are turned on. [2, 10]

Figure 1: Change requests reduce the agility of architecture over time without thorough analysis.
Figure 1: Change requests reduce the agility of architecture over time without thorough analysis. [16]

It follows that, delivering agile business capability is more a consequence of thorough analysis of the business need with agility in mind and careful design of the solution that is architected for agility, than merely implementing an agility-enabling technology into the existing architecture. [9]

If businesses are to become more agile then they must address these issues. Business leaders cannot continue to bemoan the IT department’s apparent lack of responsiveness to change when its own practices can create the above obstacles. Similarly the IT department must also play its part in designing agility into their solutions and not delegating it to the IT vendor’s latest ‘magic bullet’. [3, 9]

Changing our mind-set about how we work together with IT is necessary, because the existing problems, embedded deep into the architecture, cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.1 [2]

The intelligble question to ask

What proven method should you follow to make your technology landscape more responsive to changing business needs?

Any of the following compelling forces would justify using the solution described in this article: [1, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 25]

Figure 2: Business goals for service orientation.
Figure 2: Business goals for service orientation. [13]

  • Reduce total cost of ownership. Leveraging existing assets will reduce the cost of maintenance and free up internal operations resources that is spent on re-active activities such as maintaining legacy systems. This reduces the total cost of ownership. The resources can then be consolidated or re-directed towards forward looking and value-added activities, such as innovation – a core characteristic of Lean production.
  • Improve capability (Quality of Service). Trapped inside your company’s processes are activities and enterprise-scale data that can now be swapped, bought, and sold thanks to technology and business methods for catching the long tail. These new productions of scale2 opportunities are predicted to open up entirely new fields in, for instance the banking, telecom, and generation-old retail industry – and its first come first served.
  • Improve market position. Many profitable business change cycles have added so much inertia to the technical architecture which wasn’t designed for such adaptability in the first place. Emerging behaviours such as monoliths, silos, isles-of-automation, and phenomena’s such as spaghetti code, or a combination of these threatens businesses on both tactical and strategic terms, namely by increasing time-to-market towards both known and new markets, and by introducing unnatural risk into any change management considerations for the technical architecture.3
  • Support improved business processes. Unfortunately for the company, the existing architecture isn’t designed for improving business processes or automation of existing labour-intensive processes (straight-through-processing). The silo-based architecture forces sub-optimisation of even the simplest core business processes, for instance adding a new product to the business portfolio also requires unnecessary rewiring of related processes.

1 The original quote is commonly accredited the German theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and is about any problem set.
2 Companies like Google, YouTube, PayPal, Facebook have changed the scope of their business by taking advantages of their demographic data. However, the market for demographic travelling and buying habits are not fully explored yet.
3 For ease of reading, I’ll refer to monolith for the entire group of similar emerging behaviors and phenomena’s.

More Stories By Martin Kaarup

Martin Kaarup began his professional career over a decade ago as a system developer on location-based mobile phone services. During that time he participated as lead developer in pioneering unique state-of-the-art location-based services for the European and Asian markets, such as low-cost fleet-tracking using antenna triangulation and applications for utilizing customer positioning data for demographic use. He also participated in building location based games, such as treasure hunts and country-wide Dungeon & Dragons-based games merging www, wap and sms technologies.

Later, he shifted to the financial sector in Scandinavia where he worked as an enterprise architect building, extending, and delivering advanced fund data solutions and services designed specifically for the pan-European Fund Industry.

Today, Martin is an employee at the Swedish consultants company Avega Group, where he focuses his expertice on consulting companies on strategic and enterprise wide issues.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.