Enterprise services are a critical factor in gaining a business advantage through the use of Information Technology. Enterprise services – standards-based software and other IT assets, such as the network or the cloud, which can be invoked on demand and integrated flexibly throughout your enterprise and beyond – have the potential to enable increases in strategic agility and cost savings through asset reuse.
Enterprise Services best fulfill their potential for agility and savings when they are effectively governed. Governance of Enterprise Services means assuring that a service will produce its desired business outcome. As a best practice, enterprise service governance should span the full service lifecycle, ensuring that enterprise services are aligned with business goals and comply with enterprise policies during planning, are compatible with consuming systems through development, and are reliable and secure at the operational stage. The goal of enterprise service governance is to plan and build the right services, build them correctly, and make sure they run as expected. Only then will they deliver agility and financial payoff.
The planning, development, and operational phases of the service lifecycle share a common set of policy requirements and leverage a common policy governance infrastructure. An architect should be able to associate service level and security policies with a candidate service during the planning phase. This in turn allows developers to build services to comply with these policies. Once a service is operational, the operational governance solution will implement, enforce, and monitor these previously-defined policies, providing feedback to development and planning governance stakeholders in a closed-loop process.
SOA Software’s product suite, working as an integrated, unified SOA Governance automation solution, provides this thorough governance capability that enables you to realize the full business potential of enterprise services. Whether your enterprise services consist of WS* Web services, RESTful services, or other types of standards-based application architecture, properly governed enterprise services enable you to optimize your IT expenditures in a number of scenarios, including:
Application Consolidation – Eliminate redundant applications, as well as application components, by creating modeling your existing application elements and identifying which can be leveraged as enterprise services. Then, to achieve the financial benefits of consolidation, develop a roadmap that helps you transition from your existing portfolio to your desired state.
Information-as-a-Service – When data is exposed as enterprise services, it provides enterprise applications that with a single version of the truth. Information-as-a-Service provides a channel for enterprise Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives; helping eliminate the problems associated with inaccurate and untimely data.
Applications-as-a-Service – By exposing business capabilities as enterprise services, a business can benefit from the use and re-use of those services. Up front investment in enterprise services during application development can ultimately provide a faster and more cost effective way of bringing new applications on stream.
Integration-as-a-Service – Rendering existing Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) interfaces into enterprise services facilitates agility. The effect of this process is to make it simpler and less expensive to integrate disparate applications, a growing requirement with the emergence of Web 2.0 applications and mashups.
Composite Applications – As application functionality and integration interfaces become universally accessible as enterprise services, you have the capability to create wholly composite applications. These are completely new software programs assembled out of enterprise services that are re-used in new, dynamic process flows – ultimately saving time and money in the development, testing and deployment of applications.
Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) – Your systems can consume software functionality that is delivered as a service from remote providers. This can be financially beneficial as it may reduce reliance on costly on-premises servers. Those SAAS services, however, should be treated as enterprise services in your organization and subject to the same governance policies as any other services.
Cloud Services – Information Technology is beginning a migration into the “cloud,” where dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. There are potentially significant financial benefits to making your apps available to internal and external clients in the cloud. However, managing the security, compatibility and performance policies for services that are remotely hosted by third parties requires that strong governance be in place.