Vendors Introduce SOA Maturity Model for Businesses, IT

Sonic Software, AmberPoint, BearingPoint and Systinet this week introduced a model intended to guide businesses that are evaluating service-oriented architecture.

The SOA Maturity Model allows IT managers and decision makers to assess their teams, projects and overall organizational capabilities. The model defines five levels of maturity: initial services, architected services, business and collaborating services, measured business services, and optimized business services. Its framework is based on Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model and Capability Maturity Model Integration.

Initial services focus on the application development and integration aspects of SOA. This level helps managers identify what function will be turned into a service, while figuring out technology needs and the best SOA approach. Architected services identify development and deployment savings through SOA, compared to using legacy applications or multiple one-time projects. IT and business departments can determine the best way to implement internal and external business processes through business and collaborative services, respectively.

Measured business services display processes to decision makers, so they know how SOA is impacting the business. IT and managers view how SOA becomes an enterprise’s nervous system, such as automatically taking action when a business rule kicks in.

SOA is one of the industry’s hottest buzzwords now, and vendors offer multiple ways to build these architectures, creating massive confusion among customers. Sonic and its partners’ executives concede there’s confusion and know IT and businesses need a simplified explanation of SOA.

“The fog of war will go away and diminish in time, and the next level…up is the manager,” says Jon Bachman, Sonic’s director of product marketing. The SOA Maturity Model helps IT and decision makers identify the best way to use their software to build an SOA and why it would benefit their businesses. “They need to make sure SOA is inline [with the organization], and they don’t fail the expectations SOA has created,” he says.

About the Author

Kathleen Ohlson is senior editor at Application Development Trends magazine.