These days, many people refer to mobile communications, social business, cloud computing, and/or Big Data as “the next cool thing.” These “cool things” don’t come out of thin air, however. Like all good new business initiatives, they’re based on a foundation of tried-and-true engineering and design principles.
So how do we create a system of smart interactions between people, devices and software? A system of interaction that is able to detect opportunities to engage, enrich interaction with historical knowledge, perceive and understand the context in which interaction occurs and finally act to enable positive business outcomes? I would suggest that at the heart of such a system must be a set of well defined, loosely coupled, interfaces and contracts - which happen to the fundamental design principles of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The idea that you can detect and control interactions through well defined services and interfaces certainly applies to mobile, social, cloud, and Big Data — even, or perhaps especially, in an environment in which neither development nor operations is fully under the enterprise’s control.
SOA is simply good design; not just for IT integration but for the business solutions of an ever-more-connected and ever-more-distributed world. Applying SOA's good design principles to ever bigger and more challenging business problems will be a competitive differentiator for the modern enterprise that has to operate in an environment that is orders of magnitude more complex than we have ever had to deal with before. Thousand of apps, millions of customer and trillions of devices must come together in an intelligent network that unlocks innovation and insight at internet scale.
For more on IBM's view on SOA, please access www.ibm.com/soa
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