Thursday, November 29, 2007

Strategic IT Update: Changing Role of C-Level Executives

The business environment is becoming more complex, unpredictable and constantly changing. In the near future IT will no longer be the way it is today. Business and Technology integration will be a necessity for business to stay competitive. To achieve this, the CFOs role is expected to become increasing important as described in this video.

Following is the first Strategic IT Update.

As this is my first production, I have intentionally kept it short so as to work out the release logistics.

Yogish Pai

Monday, November 26, 2007

Resolved RSS issues

Over the weekend I received feedback that the RSS feed on this site was not working. I believe that this has now been fixed and you can be subscribed to it once again at

Please do drop me a line at if you still having problems subscribing to the feeds.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Key Observations - Service Reusability - Does it really work?

From my experience, on SOA projects reuse was mostly accomplished with technical services/ infrastructure services. However, it is the business service reuse that we are struggling with as the Lines of Business (LoB)/ business units feel that their sub-set of the business logic is very unique. The problem is that most of these business services are rendered non-reusable due to the fact that they include both business logic and process sequencing logic into the same code base and it is the later that is unique to the LoB and not the business logic. Also, we have achieved greater degree of reusablitiy in terms of data access and informational services and not so much business function services that are a higher level class of services.

I would like to hear about what your experience has been with regards to service reusablity. Have you been able accomplish this.

surekha -

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Defining and measuring Business Agility

In my previous post on defining Business Agility I had defined it as follows

Business Agility = Business Alignment + IT Flexibility

Business Alignment: Alignment between the various business units
IT Flexibility: Alignment between Business and IT + ability to rapidly deploy new business capability

Business Agility = Business Intuition + IT * (BPM + SOA)

Of course this definition is pretty generic and the next obvious question is how do we measure Business Agility? Typically most business have one primary measurement criteria - company
financial results such as revenue, operations cost, stock price and profits. There are alternate ways for measure business by adopting Six Sigma, Lean, etc. Again this approach is still business focused - and does not help in measuring IT Flexibility (especially as very rarely have I see IT organizations actually adopt Lean, Six Sigma or any such measuring criteria - maybe that will change :) ).

After giving this much thought I came up with this domain model for measuring Business Agility.

The Business Agility would be measured against each of the following domains:

Business Strategy (Business):
  • Business Strategy clearly defined and communicated
  • Clear defined goals for objectives for each of the business units
  • Responsibility and Accountability
  • Enterprise culture
  • Innovation capability

Operations Framework (Business):

  • Alignment of the business unit objectives to the enterprise objectives
  • Alignment of operations teams across business silos
  • Accountability and measurement of delivery to enterprise goals, rather than business unit goals
  • Global Business Process definitions with localization capabilities
  • Politics and interaction between business units
  • Major part of compensation liked to enterprise goals, rather than business unit goals.

Information Strategy (Business):

  • Identified clearly information needs for supporting business process
  • Identified common business entities/objects such as customers, products, orders and partners that span business processes and silos
  • Classified data into reference, transactional, master and analytics
  • Information Governance for managing common data across business units

Governance (Business & IT)
  • Business Governance (details to follow later)
  • IT Governance (details to follow later)

Branding (Business & IT)

  • Business Branding (customer, web site, multi-channel, products, etc.)
  • IT Branding (Business perception, customer/partner perception, IT staff, etc.)

Technology Strategy (IT)

  • Developing IT Roadmap (SOA Blueprinting, Standards, Architecture, etc.)
  • Current state (baseline)
  • Future/Target state
  • Technology Roadmap aligned to business priorities

Program Management (IT)

  • Program Management Office
  • Application life cycle
  • Application Portfolio Management
  • SOA life cycle
  • IT Governance (SOA Governance)

IT Operations Maturity (IT)

  • CMM Level
  • ITIL adoption
  • SLAs
  • Business Continuity
  • Infrastructure maturity

These are defined at a very board level and need to be drilled down to identify or develop a maturity model for each of these domains.

- Yogish -

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Best Practices - SOA Guiding Principles

From my experience, with SOA Retail solutions the following SOA Guiding Principles have served us well. We have applied this "standard" to both internal SOA style business services and when evaluating other packaged products that claim to be "SOA Enabled"!!!

a) business service consumers are decoupled from business service providers.
b) availability of published "service metadata" enables the discovery of the business service.
c) service consumers are agnostic of who (service provider location) and how (service provider technology platform) the function call is being fulfilled.
d) service consumers and service providers that use industry standard protocols and communications models are able to insure loose coupling.
e) service interaction is based upon exchange of canonical models

Please provide me with your feedback.
surekha -

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Best Practice: SOA Development Organization

In early 2006 I had documented my views on how the IT development organizations would change by adopting SOA. I had termed it the SOA Development Organization and I still believe that this is the end state for the IT application development organization.

- Yogish -

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Best Practices: Establishing Enterprise Architecture Teams

In one of my previous post I had published the first draft of the presentation on Establishing the Enterprise Architecture team. Based on some feedback and my own experience, I have now updated it with the following additional details:

  1. The strategic role of the EA team
  2. Enterprise Blueprinting benefits and guidelines
  3. Enterprise Architecture Review process

and finally the EA domain model from the SOA Consortium EA 2010 effort. Please click here for the pdf version and do drop me a line at for the PowerPoint version.

- Yogish -

Key Learnings - Using EDA to implement the core SOA principle of "loose-coupling"!!!

A lot has been said about how SOA and EDA are unique "architecture styles". It seems like only one or the other architectural prin...