Has SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) lost its relevance in terms of investment after the surge of Cloud Computing? This is a debatable topic that has been doing rounds in the IT industry for quite sometime. ITnext.com, in its feature on the same topic, has collated thoughts of some of eminent names in the IT industry. Kalpana Margabandhu, Director – Websphere Development – India Software Labs – IBM, has also stated her views on SOA implementation.
Read below the complete article featured in IT Next:
A question that is increasingly being asked in IT circles is: with cloud computing on the horizon, is SOA (service oriented architecture) investment still relevant?
No doubt the answer is a clear yes. The question remains, why? The relevance of SOA has not gone Down; it’s just that the role of SOA has changed. Two-three years ago, IT managers were looking at SOA as a way for IT to scale quickly in view of accelerating organisational growths. Little did anyone know then that the acceleration was leading to a bubble formation, which burst soon enough, to a dismaying shock to all.
And what happened to all those SOA investments? Did they get blown away too? Or are they still buried under the debris of a collapse? Well, it now appears that neither of that happened. In fact, SOA implementations seem to have helped the early adopters recover better from the after-effects of the economic crisis.
“The major business challenges for Indian enterprises are managing growth and business process, reducing cost and increasing profitability. This contrasts with 2007, when business challenges and SOA drivers were mostly related to managing organisational growth and the need to manage customer expectations by providing new services. The need to streamline cost has emerged as a new enterprise challenge this year,” notes Kalpana Margabandhu, Director – Websphere Development – India Software Labs – IBM.
In fact, the recent phase has seen new developments in the area of SOA appliances, which help organisations reduce their time to a SOA implementation. “These appliances are purpose built, easy-to-deploy network devices to simplify, help secure, and accelerate your XML, and Web services deployments. The newer breed of appliances focus on delivering exceptional performance and hardened security at the caching tier of an enterprise application infrastructure,” Margabandhu explains.
The benefits It’s been six or seven years since SOA started making the headlines and subsequently started seeing significant adoptions in enterprises, though the concept has been around for an even longer time. The major benefits of SOA are woven around connectivity and reuse concepts. Connectivity is essentially about establishing links between various applications, platforms and services, while reuse focuses on leveraging and optimising existing IT assets. Together, connectivity and reuse help transform IT silos into orchestrated and vibrant components that speak well to each other toward achieving
This is achieved by implementing protocols and message formats that can be commonly used by diverse systems. As Asheesh Raina, Principal Research Analyst – SOA, at Gartner Asia-Pacific puts it, “SOA is the way to bring agility into the organisation, while protecting the existing IT investments.” “The enterprise service bus (ESB) is the vital piece that helps bring in the desired level of SOA effectiveness. It works at the middleware level and is a very effective tool in making SOA work seamlessly,” Raina points out. The enterprise service bus provisions a secure connectivity infrastructure into an existing IT set-up and thereby brings in interoperability between the silos.
The interoperability not only optimizes and leverages the existing IT assets but also sets the basis for scalability. The end result is a flexible IT infrastructure that improves performance and business agility of the organisation. The ESB also performs service mediation on the fly, while acting as a service registry and repository for increased effectiveness. Essentially, there are three components of SOA that help achieve the desired objective—the ESB, SOA governance and construction tools.
According to Gartner, the ESB market in India was USD 25.6 million in CY 2009 while the SOA governance market stood at USD 3.3 million. However, the ESB market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 17.9% over the next five-year period. By comparison, the SOA governance market will likely witness a higher CAGR of 22.9%, given its relatively lower base. SOA and cloud “With the emergence of other paradigms, SOA is adapting and imbibing fresh perspectives to remain relevant and assess its alignment to different scenarios.
Sometimes, as in the case of Web oriented architecture (WOA) and event driven architecture (EDA), we see a convergence of paradigms. In other cases, like cloud computing software, information is provided to computers and other devices on demand as shared resources. In a cloud scenario, SOA services form
the vehicle for information and computational logic as reusable resources,” Rajan Lohar, AVP and Head of SOA Center of Excellence at Cognizant.
“SOA is an architectural approach that creates services that can be shared and reused. It converts current vertical applications into a number of components called services that can be reused across multiple applications, thus providing savings and improved agility to make changes faster and more cost effectively,” says Margabandhu. “On the other hand, cloud computing is about providing ease of access to and usage of services. Cloud computing employs repeatability and standardized easy access to shared hardware and software at low cost. Together, SOA and cloud can provide a complete services based solution,” she explains.
“Emerging paradigms often tend to overshadow the existing paradigms. The importance of SOA as an architectural style has not diminished. In fact, the cloud paradigm is better realised through the standardized architecture and services model provided by SOA. The services paradigm and the governance model around service life-cycle management of SOA also lend themselves to support asset reuse and provisioning aspects of the cloud computing model,” Lohar of Cognizant points out.
Protecting legacy investments Critical business processes of large enterprises are often realised using legacy applications. These applications contain enterprise core business logic that has evolved over the years. However, these legacy applications are most often monolithic in nature, tightly coupled with functional redundancies and have a high cost of ownership. SOA does not advocate elimination or replacement of these existing legacy applications, Lohar notes.
“It opts to modularise the existing monolithic legacy applications to introduce clear separation of concerns and expose the core reusable functionalities as services. These services are then integrated and composed to realise business services and capabilities. Modernisation of legacy applications using SOA usually involves componentisation of existing applications, separation of presentation, business and data aspects, realization of presentation aspects using modern technologies like portal, and finally, wrapping up of business logic and exposing them as reusable services,” he details the SOA advantages.
This allows enterprises to deploy latest technologies while leveraging their existing IT investments.
Aspects to consider
“Technology that is rational, component- wise definable, autonomous and cost effective is the need of the hour and all these are the constituents of SOA. SOA is developed and implemented by seamless effort of IT and ever changing business needs. Business functionality is rationalised and as it supports diverse platforms and technologies, which emphasises its relevance,” Jacob Livingstone, Manager – IT at Bhilai
Engineering Corp. opines.
Yet, SOA adoption in India has not reached any critical mass. Why? “The reasons for less people going for SOA are namely, no clear path on ROI, no clear path of the implementation pattern; scarcity of in-depth knowledge,” he says.
“At the initial level, implementing SOA can be a very challenging task for any organisation. You need to understand the fundamentals of SOA before doing any long-term planning. There are many factors that an organisation needs to evaluate.
These would include organisational governance, like instituting a self constituted SOA guiding committee and forming guidelines towards better security and SLAs. We have so far not deployed SOA as we do not feel the need for the same” says Rajesh Aggarwal, Manager – IT, Jindal Pipes.
“The adoption of service-oriented architecture continues to gain traction among enterprises. From an IT manager’s perspective, what might be important to understand is a business approach to SOA, which could help it evolve incrementally. SOA is to be seen in a broader architectural context to enable the business to leverage multiple technologies in an ordered and integrated way,” says Gaurav Kohli, Consultant, Xebia Architects.
Given its far-reaching benefits, it will only be a matter of time that SOA adoption will grow at a good pace. “In recent times, different SOA product stacks have attained significant maturity. More mature internal mechanics that underpin SOA have gained traction. All these, along with early successes, have provided the necessary assurance for enterprises and the industry to embrace the SOA paradigm for fulfilling strategic business objectives in varied areas,” says Lohar of Cognizant.
“Some distinct patterns of SOA adoption by various enterprises have emerged. Many such patterns, like application and data Integration, are either leading or are expected to lead towards fuller and wider SOA adoption. Many of the business process modeling projects are also predicted to become the entry points to wider SOA adoption in the future,” he concludes on an optimistic note.
This Mid-year review on Cloud- Private vs Public was featured in Channelworld.in
The newest buzz word in the IT industry, cloud computing, has been evolving gradually over the past two years as a delivery model. While there are a considerable amount of takers for cloud, a large number of companies still shy away from this concept. However, it’s fact that most organizations will start using cloud offerings on one day, in one form or the other. Considering cloud is a trend that can’t be avoided, what are the channel partners doing about it? Do they think cloud is a big opportunity, as projected by many in the industry?
Worldwide, cloud services revenue is forecast to reach $68.3 billion in 2010, a 16.6 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $58.6 billion, according to Gartner. The industry is poised for strong growth through 2014, when worldwide cloud services revenue is projected to reach $148.8 billion.
During the last one year, a lot of systems integrators in the county increased their focus towards services business, for a variety of reasons. They moved further away from box-pushing and started to adopt different models that offered them better margins. Cloud thus became a sensible option for them to bank on. One of the recent online surveys conducted by ChannelWorld witnessed an overwhelming number of partners who believed that cloud is going to be a huge opportunity in 2010. We went back to some of them to find out where they have reached in their cloud road map and received mixed feedback.
While a few of them have made investments on expanding their infrastructure and skill sets, others have started with ‘reselling’ the cloud offers of their principals. They also believe that cloud is currently in its nascent stage in India and it would offer more opportunities in the coming days.
“A lot of people in the industry are talking about cloud and we believe it’s the new buzz word in the industry. We didn’t want to stay away from this new trend and have thus invested on infrastructure and created the required skills sets. The results have been on the expected lines and we do see an increased demand for cloud-based services in the last 2-3 months,” says Sandeep Salman, Senior VP-Consulting and Managed services, Futuresoft Solutions.
“In India, we are witnessing that ‘Cloud’ adoption is still in its infancy and it is early days yet to comment on how it pans out vis-à-vis various technologies and the market. “I am confident that the Partner Community will play a crucial role as and when this market matures,” agrees Vijayant Rai, Director Channels, CA Technologies India.
Sanjay Agarwal, Director of Momentum Infocare says, “Cloud definitely seems to be the future for companies like us who have a strong focus on SMBs. We see that these companies would use cloud service in a very large manner in the net 4-5 years for various reasons like IT refresh and complexity.”
Some partners are however a bit cautious about new investments in the cloud. “Cloud seems to be more of hype as of now. We have seen some applications like CRM on demand becoming popular. However, broadband is definitely concern in the further growth of cloud,” says Subbaram Gowra, Managing Partner, Gowra Bits & Bytes.
Public Vs Private
The biggest challenge for the partners is to identify where the opportunities in cloud are and act accordingly. Currently, most of them seem to be quite upbeat about private clouds. They help customers set up private clouds within their premises and also in hosting various applications on it. Partners opine that most of the companies are still reluctant to the idea of using a public cloud and they site security as the major concern. As a reason, private cloud has become an easier concept to sell.
“Customers are looking at setting up private clouds within the company premises. We are not very sure about the public cloud model and its potential, because when we suggest tha they shift to a public cloud model, they appear to be extremely concerned about their business data. Migration might happen eventually, but now the opportunity lies within private clouds” says Ajay Pathare, MD of BrainPower Technologies. BrainPower Technologies has seen more demand coming from large companies. The company currently offers various applications like ERP, retail system and sales force automation as services to its customers.
Accel Frontline also bets big on private clouds and the related opportunities. Though the company is not into offering cloud services, it taps this market through offering infrastructure for setting up clouds. The company has partnered with VMware to help set up private clouds for customers. When the customer adopts cloud, it results in further requirements in computing and storage. Accel Frontline utilizes its association with companies like IBM, Sun, Oracle and HP to tap these related opportunities. “A shift to public cloud will still take time. It’s in fact due to the conservatism of companies about their business data. Though there is going to be migration towards public cloud, it’s going to be a gradual and slow process,” says Sriram Narayanan, GM-Marketing, Accel Frontline.
Hardware as a service is a different game al together, say partners. At the same time, software as a service or application as a service offers huge opportunities to them. By the end of 2010, 75 percent of Asia Pacific organizations will increase their SaaS investments, according to a survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. Of the organizations surveyed, 80 percent were currently using SaaS for enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM, with the remaining 20 percent planning to use it in the next 12 months.
Team Computers has partnered with Google and Microsoft to offer services like internal work flow to its customers. The company has also set up its own data center to offer disaster recovery on cloud. The company expects to offer ERP and CRM as well on cloud in the coming days. It is seeing demand for cloud from both large and small businesses. “Cloud is a good option for small companies as it allows them to avoid upfront investments and go for cost-effective solutions. Large companies are looking at cloud to reduce their operating costs. But mid-sized companies are still not moving towards cloud as their requirements are different,” says Satya Prakash Sharma, Regional Sales manager-West, Team Computers.
Futuresoft’s focus is on offering hosted applications to customers, especially to enterprises. The company has partnered with Microsoft to offer messaging solutions and sharepoint as a service.
The company expects to sell disaster recovery services and infrastructure management on cloud. It also sells its own product for HR and payroll through cloud.
Momentum Infocare offers remote support to customers through cloud, besides offering ERP, CRM and messaging. The company has invested on setting up a data center to offer back-up services as well. The company also hopes that it will be able to offer to hardware as a service or lease out data center for customers in the near future.
Gowra Bits & Bytes, though a hardware players, plans to offer its own branded software as a service to its customers. “Hardware as a service has to still evolve as a delivery model. It requires a lot of invest from our end and seems to be a different business proposition altogether,” says Gowra.
Opportunity or challenge
Cloud is all about how you deliver IT to your customers. Since it’s a completely new delivery, there is a notion cloud will eventually cut out the middlemen- the channels. However, both the vendors and channel partners disagree to this.
Partners have already proved this wrong by coming up with successful cloud model, with and without the help of their principals, at the same time, vendors reiterate that channels will continue to play the most critical role in cloud.
“Channel Partners will continue to play a vital role in delivering the value of IT to the end users in the Indian Market. Over the years, as the Internet as well as related technologies have grown and changed the way businesses buy and use Information Technology, channel partners have always kept in-step and have added value in ever increasing measure.
“Besides the technology buying process, the partner community adds huge value by way of on site deployment and support presence as well as by acting as a ‘trusted advisor’ to the end user,” says Rai, Director Channels, CA Technologies India.
Anil Menon, VP- Software Group Channels, IBM India/South Asia agrees, “Cloud computing is considered the wave of the future as businesses look to outsource some or all of their IT responsibilities to the cloud, maybe that’s why the cloud computing market is expected to reach $160 billion by next year.
“This doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for channel partners, both in reselling those apps and in providing the IT integration and customization services to make them work for a particular business. In fact, IBM is looking to help partners capture these cloud deals with a host of new IT certifications aimed at demonstrating their expertise in this new specialty.
There are opportunities waiting for channel partners to wrap services around cloud computing. In addition, there is very low overhead for channel partners because they are not receiving goods in hand– it’s all a virtual transaction.”
“Cloud offers different options to partners. They can add cloud to their portfolio and start offering services to customers. They can also white label various services and offer them as their own brands. This way, cloud is actually widening the horizon for partners,” says Nitin Mishra, Head, Product Marketing, Netmagic Solutions.
Cloud can definitely be a win-win for vendors and channel partners. Partner enablement will always be the key to make this ecosystem work. In addition, cloud offers recurring revenue stream for partners, no matter how big or small they are.
Craig Hayman, GM AIM brand, IBM, at Impact 2010, India
Today we have different conferences for business and IT, making IT completely alienated from business and its objectives. By doing a demarcation between the two, we are not only creating a gap but also pushing-far the realization of the main objective. We tend to forget that in today’s business environment, IT plays a major role in bringing success, it brings in collaboration, it integrates, it secures, it scales, it saves time and it saves cost.
Impact 2010, as Craig said, is an effort to bring together business and IT together under one roof. Craig started his session with a celebration, applauding IBM’s 100 years of existence with India being a part of it for 60 years. In today’s environment it’s all about working smart and the first step towards working smart is to reduce the total spend on IT, he said.
We are living in a decade of smart where “process Is the King”, and today we are applying technology in almost everything in order make growth mandatory and improve processes to win more customers. Technology is something that gets obsolete faster than fashion trends, and to counter with this crisis we are constantly on the move to innovate. Mobilephone access, Cloud Computing, Virtualization are all part of the intelligent innovation that has made life simpler.
Giving an insight from the IBM 2010 global CEO study, “Capitalizing on Complexity in 2009” Craig asked who did really well during the good and the bad times? And what did they do differently? And then he answered: the ones who did well where the ones who brought about a change in operational dexterity, handled customers better and developed new offerings. The front runners expanded in new markets and brought in regulatory changes, which included process change, greater usage of collaboration workspaces and greater usage of SOA (Service oriented architecture).
Having discussed the need for smarter safety, smarter energy, smarter traffic, Craig concluded his session on a promising note- Let us help you build a smarter planet. IBM smarter software understands your need.
To follow twitter steam on Impact 2010- kindly click here.
Director- Marketing Communications
People today are a lot more instrumented than before. From the time we wake up till the time we get back to bed, we are surrounded by instruments that are working constantly at assimilating data and making our life smarter.
A year ago, we began a conversation about how our planet can become smarter. A year into this new era, the signs of a smarter planet are all around us. Smarter systems are creating value in every major industry across the world.
At IBM, a smarter planet is intelligence being infused into the systems and processes that make the world work—into things no one would recognize as computers: cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes, even natural systems such as agriculture and waterways. Trillions of digital devices, connected through the internet, are producing an ocean of data. And that information can now be turned into knowledge because we have the computational power and advanced analytics to make sense of it all.
We’ve learned a lot over the past year about what it takes to build a smarter planet. Importantly, we’ve learned that our companies, our cities and our world are complex systems—indeed, systems of systems—that require new things of us as leaders, as workers and as citizens. A smarter planet will require a profound shift in management and governance toward far more collaborative approaches. Business leaders, policymakers and government officials around the world are currently stepping up to these challenges. The time to act is now, and the way to act is together.
The decade of smart is under way. Click here to know more.
Ankur Basu steps up to deliver the last session before the lunch. Mr Basu, the CIO of Mjunction presented a case study on how IBM’s WebSphere solution has helped his company attain scalability, flexibility and ensure security.
Mjunction, an ecommerce company has its presence in both b2b and b2c domain. Mr. Basu said, that his company was in search for a software solution that would help increase scalability, ensure flexibility and provide high level of security to their business model. The biggest challenge the company had was to create a scalable and reliable infrastructure, which is pretty obvious for any company that runs its business operations online.
Mjunctions ecommerce portal Straightline.in, works entirely on IBM Websphere. Giving a reason, as to why they choose WebSphere, Mr Basu said, “Our site is pretty dynamic and is quite heavy since it facilitates commerce. We needed a solution that would help us in making the user experience on our website rich, provided top most security for our data and managed customer acquisitions and interactions.”
To meet the above mentioned requirements Mjunction, chose Wepsphere commerce solution, Websphere application server and Websphere application developer. The Websphere fleet of solutions provided the company with a robust and scalable platform, seamless compatibility with Jave J2EE, and access to world class labs.
The company CIO also mentioned that Mjunction was one of those rare companies that was unaffected by the global economic slowdown.
*Tweets on Impact 2010 India: here
Jason Jameson introduces himself in an Australian way. Calling cricket the common link between India and Australia, he walked over to discuss – What if Technology Could Change as Fast as Your Business? Yes, he said.
With smart SOA connectivity, Cloud and virtualization, technology can change as fast as business. Organisations can work smarter by aligning the engines of business agility; it’s all about working the smart way.
Referring to today’s challenging and dynamic business environment, which is definitely tough to sustain in, Jason said that there are companies that have been able to realize greater agility by aligning business processes and business strategy.
As businesses try to respond in a flexible way, they need to manage the process model in an effective way, since process is the key element in today’s scenario.
Talking about SOA (Service oriented architecture), he mentioned that the most demanding business challenges can be met by SOA. It not only multiplies but also accelerates processes to make work fast. Calling SOA dynamic, virtual, connected and elastic, Jason said that it manages deployment effectively and in a cost effective way.
SOA has the capability to rapidly process the ever increasing volume of information, and drive market competitiveness through ground breaking business products. It also ensures the integrity of business organizations in the face of rapidly changing processes.
While concluding, Jason said, “The key is that every system has a weak link and the trick is to intelligently offload the weak link without having to replicate your entire IT budget.”
Jason Jameson is executive, Websphere, IBM software group. To follow Impact 2010, India, on twitter Click here
There comes one of the most awaited conferences of this year, yes I am talking about IBM WebSphere, Impact 2010 India. Thursday morning in Mumbai, and it’s an eager wait as attendees queue in for registration.
The premier conference for Business and IT Leaders, with an expanded focus on Business Leadership and a continued technical focus through Smart SOA and BPM Technology has been divided in three track sessions: Business and IT Alignment TRACK, Technology TRACK and IT leadership Summit.
Discover. Interact. Optimize – that’s the agenda for this year’s event.
DISCOVER how to work smarter and drive business agility now through improvements in processes and connectivity with BPM enabled by SOA.
INTERACT more effectively with your customers and partners by collaborating with other business and IT leaders to innovate.
OPTIMIZE your business performance by delivering cost and productivity gains and enhancing professional skills.
The session will kick-start any time now and the environment inside is simply splendid. If unfortunately you have not been able to make it to Impact, don’t worry. This blog will keep you updated with the event when it unfolds. You can also follow our tweet feeds here.
Explore the smarter way of working with Craig Hayman as he talks about better Business Outcomes with BPM, SOA, and Collaboration at Impact 2010.
We are at the dawn of the decade of smart. Although disruption has never come faster, pressure has never been higher, and competition has never been more fierce, successful organizations are not just changing themselves, but changing the world. To do so, they are making themselves more dynamic, collaborative, and connected. During this session, your business peers will describe how they’ve redefined the way they work to succeed in today’s smarter planet.
Experts will share insights into how the business environment is changing and how you can get started working smarter. You will discover the fundamental capabilities that will help drive agility into your organization and enable your company to outperform.
Be a part of Impact 2010 India, and switch to a smarter way of working. Confirm your participation today, register for Impact 2010 today.