Service Oriented Architecture is based on application of architectural approaches in design of software architecture which makes use of loosely coupled software “ services” to promote the enterprise’s processes requirements (Betz 72). Services are normally made available free from dependence of related services and are accessible without the user’s knowledge of essential platform accomplishment.
Services communicate and the process of communication entails either simple passing of data or activity coordination among two or more services. As a result of intercommunication, there is need to connect services to each other. Companies are capable of unifying process via huge applications structuring into a collective count of smaller services. There is the possibility of accessing information from either inside the organization or outside. New applications may as well be arrived at from the global collection, thus a good portion of data can be stored in different locales. More and more indulgence into SOA may render middleware an invaluable facility. Middleware acts as a connector between the applications and software parts (Bider 91). Processes are capable of running on a single or more computers to ensure interaction in the entire network. The evolution of this technology grants interoperability in aid of transition to distributed architectures that are logical in nature mostly employed in support and simplification of complicated distributed systems. Examples of SOA include transaction monitors, web servers, and messaging and queuing software. Guidelines provided herein define ground law for maintenance, development, and usage of SOA: reuse, modularity, portability, componentization, composability, granularity, and interoperability; compliance of standards; and service recognition and classification, monitoring and tracking, and provisioning and delivery.
Enterprise Service Bus simplifies the jointing and lenient reuse of business modules within SOA. It offers a dependable and scalable exchange of information that seeks to link various applications and Information technology resources so as to reconcile incompatibilities among applications and IT resources and renders them widely available to supplement needs for more uses.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) provides for specifications with which SOA may be put into operation but ESB itself does not execute SOA.
However, there are challenges that face the implementation of the SOA. Services management, absence of testing in a SOA, product hype, inadequate number of personnel to work on systems based on SOA, and provision of suitable security levels are just a few of hindrances facing users’ switch from non-service-oriented-architecture systems to SOA.
These issues surrounding implementation of SOA can be solved by employing a CIO, though even without presence of CIO, long-term and short-term benefits have to be harnessed via creating a list of use-again, loosely coupled services. It is important to take a calculated risk in order to make things work the way they are expected.
Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to a delivery model of software whereby software and related data are centrally hosted remotely (usually in the cloud) and is accessible to users via internet with the help of a web browser. Most SaaS solutions are implemented multi-tenant based architecture where one version of application with similar configuration settings is used for all customers.
The benefits realized in this kind of architecture are that reuse is enhanced at the macro (service) level and not in the micro (classes) level. In addition, the same make interconnections easier to – and usage of – IT assets in place.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library provides a descriptive framework covering all the desired practices for presenting the units of information technology infrastructure an array of services to an enterprise; best referred to as Information Technology Service Management (ITSM). ITIL gives guidelines on the requirements of an IT organization so as to provide an IT arrangement to offer and enhance Information Technology services.
ITSM is slightly more than the above described processes. Integration of various universally accepted frameworks, standards and methods ensure effective Information Technology Service Management. ITSM plays a significant role in a general CSIP (Continuous Service Improvement Program), that embodies foundational modifications to business and Information Technology organizations, together with the manner in which the go about IT and exploitation of IT services in enhancing business processes.
IT services refers to modes of value deliverance to clients through facilitation of outcomes desired by customers as what they desire to achieve minus ownership of certain risks and costs.
The IT service management goals include IT service alignment with present and future requirements of the business, improvement of IT services quality, and cut the expense of IT service provision.
Best Practice of service in ITIL covers the processes of planning that is needed so as to ensure quality deliverance of IT services. The processes for planning takes into account the forward-looking factor that has medium to long term effect on the IT services quality.
Best practice for service support encompasses support processes that have to be instituted to maintain the desired quality of IT services of daily operations . The process of support takes into account factors that have prompt to short-term effect on the IT services quality.
Business perspective entails areas that promote alignment of Business-IT for present and later on services. Areas of concern include Supplier Relation Management, Business Relations Management, Review Planning and Development of IT and Liaison, education and IT communications .
Planning to implement Service Management encompasses areas associated with implementing and enhancing improvement in ITIL processes in an organization. It covers areas associated with adoption of ITIL processes like change, change of culture and management of projects and improvement of processes.
ICT infrastructure accounts for areas of managing the Information and Communication Technology. ICT infrastructure offers fundamental prop up to provision of IT services. Areas of concern here are Administration and Management, Technical Support, Design and Planning and Deployment and Operations.
Application management oversees lifecycle development phases of applications like requirements phase, design phase, construction phase deployment phase, operation phase and optimization phase. It also comprises of guidance about IT Service management issues for lifecycle of applications.
Security management comprises of management processes for IT security and it entails the security factor of important information, IT services and the infrastructure of ICT. Security management processes includes planning, execution, assessment, maintenance and control.
There are various reasons as to why ITIL framework should be implemented. Businesses are becoming more and more reliant on IT. The complexity of IT is increasing rapidly. Another reason is that clients want more for paying less. The growth of global competition requires a suppler mode of integrating various requirements. Therefore cost reduction of operations, improvement of service quality, improvement of customer satisfaction and compliance improvement are the core drivers of implementation of ITIL (Isaca 228).
It is however important to note that implementation of ITIL is difficult since “ what” is described in its present form and not “ how” delivery of IT service, that is to say costs are exaggerated by absence of best practices and tools for implementation (Betz 61).
There are various benefits associated with implementation of the ITIL framework for service management. First, there is marked improvement in the utilization of resources. Secondly, the organization gains competitiveness advantage against its competitors. Thirdly, through the same there is effective elimination of work redundancies. In addition, improved availability, reliability and security of crucial IT services are witnessed thus giving an organization a better chance to maximize revenue. Finally, central processes are integrated.
The difference between COBIT and ITIL is that COBIT includes discussion on quality and process maturity while ITIL has wide base of implementing organizations with lessons studied and also ITIL has certification schema for an organization.
As we talk of ITIL and SOA, we need to think of ITSM as a sole provider of crucial guidelines for planning, designing, developing deploying and propping up IT services in line with business. Software, Hardware together with other Information Technology resources and the general directions for an Information Technology organization in ensuring service provision are examples of IT business aligned services. ITSM offers the basic underpinning directions required to grasp infrastructure deliverance stage in support of SOA.
Betz, Charles T. Architecture and Patterns for IT Service Management, Resource Planning, and Governance: Making Shoes for the Cobbler’s Children. US: Elsevier, 2011.
Bider, Ilia. ” Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling: 11th International Workshop, BPMDS 2010, and 15th International Conference, EMMSAD 2010, Held at CAiSE 2010, Hammamet, Tunisia, June 7-8, 2010, Proceedings.” 11th International Workshop, BPMDS 2010, and 15th International Conft, Tunisia, June 7-8, 2010, Proceedings. Norway: Springer, 2010. 155.
Bloor, Robin, et al. Service oriented architecture for dummies. Australia: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
Boer, Sven Den, Rajeev Andharia and Melvin Harteveld. Six Sigma for IT Management: A Pocket Guide. New York: Van Haren Publishing, 2007.
Isaca. Service strategy. UK: The Stationery Office, 2007.
Jr., Melvin B Greer. Software As a Service Inflection Point: Using Cloud Computing to Achieve Business Agility. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse Star, 2009.
Marks, Eric A. Service-oriented architecture governance for the services driven enterprise. New York City: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
Scarborough, Michael S. The IT Service Management Foundation Exam Guide. Russia: Resulta Group LLC, 2010.