Aberdeen: SOA Driving Supply Chain Innovation
- By Kathleen Ohlson
Service-oriented architecture is helping companies expand the capabilities
of their supply chain, according to a report released by the Aberdeen Group.
From the responses of approximately 300 executives, 45 percent of companies
have SOA or Web services projects geared to SCM underway. Almost 20 percent
of respondents plan to launch similar projects over the next 12 months, according
to Aberdeen’s report, “Service-Oriented Architecture in the Supply
Chain: What Supply Chain Managers Need to Know.”
In today’s enterprise, supply chain management is supported by a variety
of software applications and services that aren’t integrated or flexible
enough to meet changing business requirements. Enterprises’ technology
constraints are causing high integration costs and incompatibility between application
More than 60 percent of respondents say they either have standardized or plan
to standardize on common ERP platforms for supply chain management.
“We found that when companies do indeed compete with their supply chains,
most are entering the battle with their technology arms tied behind their backs,”
says John Fontanella, an Aberdeen analyst. “Service-oriented architecture
gives companies the very real opportunity to accelerate information integration
while configuring business processes that can quickly meet internal and trading
Other findings in the report include:
- 94 percent of the respondents say their businesses use a combination of
best-of-breed applications, on-demand services, ERP systems and desktop applications
to manage supply chains.
- The flexibility needed from supply chain applications outstrips enterprises’
ability to provide it, Aberdeen says. Sixty-one percent of respondents say
they use manual processes to meet customer requirements, or deny customers
- Companies most likely to adopt SOA tend to buy apps that fit their current
technology requirements the best. They are also less likely to have a corporate-wide
ERP consolidation program in place.
Kathleen Ohlson is senior editor at Application Development Trends magazine.