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The Maturity of a Service-Oriented Architecture

by Douwe Pieter van den Bos on March 6, 2012 · 1 comment

When talking Service-Oriented Architecture, we all have our specific view on things. This perception means that we can never have a full blown focus on where the complete architecture is headed to. Going from ‘service bus centric development’ to the utopia that’s a context-driven, event based organization. SOA isn’t something we achieve overnight. It isn’t as simple as changing the underlying technology layers into something like the Oracle SOA Suite, it’s an organizational change. Thus this is a large challenge, not only for architecture or applications, but for the entire stack of operations and decisions. It’s time to grow up.

The Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model, OSIMM, helps us with this challenge. In October 2011 The Open Group released version 2 of this model and it offers us a clear insight in how change is made and how the ‘utopia’ of SOA can be achieved. This also gives us insight in how this is such a large transition that it has to be achieved using ‘baby steps’.

Using a maturity model, such as The Open Groups OSIMM, we can plot a path for organizations on how to achieve the next level of enterprise service integration maturity. The levels taken in account, combined with the dimensions in the Maturity Matrix, offer us a model in which we can easily define the next steps to take.

One of the standard assumptions is that IT drives the growth of a SOA. It seems that this is, in practice, true. When we look at the dimensions in the model we learn that Methods, Applications and Architecture are the axes on which the SOA transition go fastest. But we have to take the rest of the dimensions along. Without the support (or the drivers) from the business views we cannot create a valuable and valued environment.

One of the other things we learn from The Open Group’s model OSIMM is that the level of maturity is, even with the large adopters of Service-Oriented Architecture, not complete. There are some organizations that can show us a level 7 maturity on (almost) all dimensions, but not completely enterprise-wide. This model really shows us how Service-Oriented Architecture is an Enterprise Architecture implementation.

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Principles of Service-Oriented Architecture by Douwe P. van den Bos « SOA Community Blog
June 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

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