Thursday, December 13, 2007

SOA Consortium: Keynote by Sandy Carter

The SOA Consortium's last 2 days face to face meeting for 2007 is currently underway at Burlingame, CA. Yesterday, Sandy Carter gave a keynote address to the attendees and following is a brief summary of her comments:

Every two years, IBM conducts an exhaustive CEO survey (a couple of hours conversation with each of the CEOs) which is published every two years (last years report is available here). The next report shall be published next year around April at their IMPACT event. Following are some of the interesting findings:

Business have notices a 2% improvement in their revenue by focusing on IT optimization and an 8% improvement by focusing on business optimization. However, when they align both IT and Business, the impact was more than double, 20% a key reason for enterprises to focus on Business Agility.

The top four areas of focus for CEOs (in no particular order) are:

a) Agility
b) New and changing customer
c) Business Model Innovation
d) SOA (Yes! looks like SOA had now made the CEOs priority list)

As there is no real way of measuring agility, IBM has coined a new term KAIs (Key Agility Indicator). This is similar to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and they do have a tool that allows to benchmark your results to the 12,000 company data that they have compiled.

I like the concept of the KAIs and agree that what IBM had done is great job putting together a tool that allows enterprises to benchmark themselves against the industry. However, I believe that there is a need for a simpler way to measure your own agility (an art and a science) and it for this reason, I had taken a crack at the Business Agility domain model. Hope to define the maturity levels for each of the Business Agility domain model to enable business that do not have access to IBM's KAI tool.

As for new and changing customers - I agree things are changing at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to keep up, especially with the new social networks tool which shall rapidly enter the enterprise market. Hey! I just looked at Loopt and realized one could use such as tool for logistics and asset tracking.

Business Model Innovation is happening now, especially in large enterprises. Examples: Cisco moved from direct sales model to channel sales model. Oracle's model now has changed their business model from being a technology leader to an aggressive acquirer. And of-course we have companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn that have changed the way we search and collaborate.

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