Feeds

The problems with IBM's SOA message

'Horrendously complicated'

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Comment This is the fourth and final set of my observations based on IBM's recent analyst conference from its Software Group. As I have discussed in my previous articles, SOA (service-oriented architecture) now pervades all of IBM's software offerings. Is this a good thing? Yes. Are there unanswered problems? Yes. I have discussed the former in my previous articles; I will now highlight the latter.

The first and most obvious problem with IBM's take on SOA is that you cannot simply go to IBM and say "I want to implement SOA in this part of my business, what product do I need?" Or, rather, you can say that, but the answer you get back will be horrendously complicated. For example, to monitor your SOA environment there are two different tools within the Tivoli suite that you might use and a third within the Rational suite— or maybe it was in Lotus, or WebSphere, but in any case three different tools.

I know of one organisation that asked the sort of question highlighted in the last paragraph and the answer it got back was that it needed some 30 different products to do the job required. Needless to say, the company in question looked elsewhere.

The point here is that the whole basis of SOA is simplification of the interface and environment. It would help if IBM applied the same principles to its own product suite, which is anything but simplified. It would also help if the company stayed with easily understood and recognised English, rather than trying to invent new terminology whenever it suits them (and, yes, I recognise that this is an American trait in general and is not unique to IBM).

The second problem, which is not specific to IBM, is to do with the cultural change that is implicit in SOA. A service-oriented architecture is essentially a business-driven, as opposed to an IT-driven, environment. This will have a cultural impact on both the business departments involved and the IT department. Now, we all know that change on this scale can be difficult to implement and certainly change management, at least as far as people are concerned (as opposed to software, say), is not the domain of the IBM Software Group. However, it would make sense to have a robust collaboration with IBM Global Services (IGS) to provide such capabilities.

In fact, IGS was represented at the conference but when this issue was raised (not by me) the answer was very unspecific. Whilst it is obvious that appropriate change management must be tailored to the individual company, it would be helpful if a specific programme was in place for that purpose.

Copyright © 2005, IT-Analysis.com

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.