Information as a Service

For a large enterprise to function effectively, all stakeholders and information systems need to have access to accurate data in real time.  Traditionally, this has been a difficult goal to attain, as heterogeneous data formats, application integration costs, and batch processing lag times inhibited the free flow of accurate, timely information amongst systems.  With Information-as-a-Service, sources of enterprise data are exposed as Enterprise Services and made available for consumption by virtually any application that needs them.  This allows you to:

  • Distribute data across the enterprise as a shared service – With Information-as-a-Service, it is possible for ERP and CRM systems, business intelligence tools, mash-ups, and portals to interact with identical data in real time.
  • Create a single source of truth for major domains – Information-as-a-Service provides the ability to establish and maintain one trusted source of data for specific work flows, getting everyone on the same page.
  • Reduce operational problems that stem from batch data updates between systems - Even minor discrepancies in data between out-of-sync batches in enterprise systems can cause serious problems, especially in financial transactions.  Information-as-a-Service enables business processes and users to work with the most up to date data in critical applications.
  • Simplify and streamline the sharing of data between enterprise systems – Information-as-a-Service reduces many of the cost, time, and hassle factors that have inhibited the thorough sharing of back-end data with consuming systems in the past.  By establishing a single, trusted source of data as a shared service, it is possible to set up separate consumers of that data in a number of separate applications with comparatively little effort.

 

Information-as-a-Service is a boon to business agility and operational effectiveness.  However, getting to success with information services requires making sure that the services are planned, built, and operated in alignment with the broader enterprise strategy and IT assets.  This is a matter of governance. 

Planning governance helps ensure that information service candidates are properly aligned with enterprise master data management (MDM) initiatives, and that these services provide the right level of information granularity. 

Effective development governance follows on to validate that schemas and other information service definition artifacts comply with enterprise policies, and are correctly specified and used.  Development governance also provides change management capabilities to minimize the impact that changes to information services might have on their consuming applications.

Operational governance for information services delivers a wide range of capabilities, the most important of which is to provide information assurance and data-protection.  An effective operational governance solution ensures that only authorized applications and users can access sensitive data. This protects data privacy and integrity.

A unified governance solution provides consistent, uniform policy definition, validation, implementation and enforcement throughout the plan-build-run stages of the enterprise service lifecycle.  For example, policy governance for information services will help ensure that enterprise services implement appropriate Common Data Models, and comply with relevant Common Data Element definitions.  The policy governance solution should also provide for comprehensive security policy mediation to ensure that information services can be used securely by the widest possible set of applications, regardless of their technology or platform. 

SOA Software’s product suite manages SOA Governance throughout the plan-build-run service lifecycle, anchoring the process with strong policy governance. In planning, SOA Software’s Portfolio Manager allows planning stakeholders to develop an SOA roadmap, compare it to existing and planned services, and assign priority to selected services.  In development, SOA Software’s Repository Manager makes sure that enterprise services confirm to appropriate standards and guidelines, providing powerful change management capabilities.  It also governs the consumption process, facilitating controlled and measurable asset reuse. When services are deployed, SOA Software’s Service Manager implements and enforces defined policies for security, performance, and reliability to ensure that enterprise services function as intended.  SOA Software’s Policy Manager works in concert with these products to keep policy definitions, and associated metadata, consistent as the service matures from planning through development and then into operation.