Monday, June 16, 2008

Modernization with SOA – The EDS way



Arye Amit and Eyal Kot presented EDS Modernization with SOA approach and practices in the 21st meeting of the SOA Forum of the Israeli Association of Information Processing on May 14th.
Arye is Business Development and Management Consulting of EDS Israel.
This post describes Arye's presentation about Business aspects and EDS approach to Modernization.

The following bullets summarize Arye's presentation:

Business Value of Modernization
  • Current Legacy systems include valuable assets; however the architecture is too rigid. Modernization is a key for transforming these assets to Agile solutions enabling the enterprise to respond to business changes and needs.
  • System Maintenance is about 80% of the IT Budget. Maintenance of old Legacy systems is expansive. After Modernization Maintenance costs will be reduced so higher percent could be allocated to Development and Innovation.
  • Omitting redundant systems developed by different departments.
  • Reducing Risk level due to diminished legacy skills.
  • High cost ineffective integration mechanisms are a barrier for fulfilling Business needs.
  • The goal is transforming the organization to a Responsive Organization

The Journey
  • Transition to SOA is part of The Journey towards Agile Platforms.
  • It includes Agile Enterprise (e.g. SOA), Agile Infrastructure (e.g. Virtualization) and Agile Applications (Standard, Open, Modular etc.).
  • Organizational factors such as Maturity should be considered
Modernization stages
  • · Definitions & planning: Mapping current assets, Roadmap etc.
  • · Managing the Journey: Business Architecture, Applications Architecture, performing the Modernization endeavor.
  • · Agile Enterprise (SOA, Business Processes, Vertical models etc.)
EDS's Approach

  •  Top Down
  •  Changing infrastructure to partners' infrastructure products (Microsoft, EMC, Oracle, SAP, Sun, Dell, Borland, CA, Cisco, Tibco etc.)
  •  Focus on Large Enterprises and on Outsourcing
  •  Gradual transition according to Roadmap and not Big Bang
  • The 7 Res: Re-learn (analyzing and understanding components, thinking of Reuse candidates), Re-host (migration to new platforms), Re-Factor (current code optimization), Re-interface (web based interface), Re-architect (SOA), Replace (replace Legacy applications by packages or new applications), Retire (applications retirement).

  • Critical Success Factors: Business Management commitment, Pragmatic approach (Best Practices, Methodologies), continuous plan adaptation, Budgeting next Modernization steps by savings from previous steps of the modernization endeavor.
Q & A
The following issues were raised by forum participants:
  • Organizational maturity.
EDS assess the maturity as part of the first steps based on a Maturity Model.
  • Organizational Culture changes and other organizational changes as part of the Modernization endeavor.
These changes are usually required during the transition process. The organization is maturing
gradually as described by the Maturity Model.

  • Partial Modernization
It is possible to implement part of the Modernization process as cited above. EDS defined and
is deploying autonomous services for partial implementations.
My Take
  • Modernization Value Proposition as presented by EDS is commonly presented by most SOA experts as SOA initiative Value Proposition.
  • Modernization as defined by EDS is not SOA only. Transition to SOA is a significant part of the Modernization endeavor in order to build a Responsive Organization and to get benefits of Agility.
  • A full implementation of EDS's methodology and practices is not a Panacea. It is a multi-years endeavor and high resources consuming. For some Enterprises it is a good choice but for others it is not.
  • It is not easy to justify this kind of endeavor. Some organizations should begin with addressing Pain Points by SOA project, which could be afterwards extended to a SOA initiative. Recently I read an Oracle SOA Case Study titled as: SOA by Accident: A successful point deployment of BPEL led to a SOA initiative.
  • Replace: is it necessary to replace platforms?
  • Replace: On which stage do you replace platforms: during transition to SOA or after completing the transition. The preferred approach is to postpone replacement after advanced SOA implementation stages. Afterwards a gradual transparent is a possible method. Sometimes maintaining current platforms could be inefficient, expensive or impossible.
  • EDS Modernization best fit could be large enterprises implementing the complete model and using previously EDS's services.

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