Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

Distributing Excellence: SOA Web Services

Web services adoption is gaining more momentum

As SOA and Web services adoption in the industry is gaining more momentum, the need to get quick wins and to show the value of adopting new (or old) paradigms is weighed against the risk of facing the repercussions of slapping something together in a quick and dirty fashion and paying the higher cost later. Many of our smart clients (not to be confused with .NET smart clients) are putting together the right groups to facilitate the adoption of these new technologies across their organizations.

The deployment of SOA is centered on governance. In order to have an efficient governance process, central groups that can act as COEs (Centers of Excellence) need to be in place before portfolios are allowed to develop and deploy functionality for their respective applications. There are too many technologies, business processes, vendor products, and confusing messages in the mix for any organization to leverage the benefits of adopting SOA through Web services effectively. Research needs to be conducted, products need to be evaluated, eliminated, and selected, and patterns and guidelines need to be published to address the common needs of the applications. This obviously has to be balanced against the drivers from business to show value ASAP.

Obviously cost is the main hindrance. It is very hard for a COE to show tangible cost savings. Unfortunately, the software industry hasn't developed appropriate metrics to assess the value provided by such groups. Fortunately, factors such as unfamiliarity with new technology and lack of required skillsets in individual application groups drives the need for establishing centers of excellence. It is still a hard sell to maintain such bodies, which are viewed by business owners as cost centers.

SOA lends itself very well to the outsourcing and off shoring model. An interesting side effect of this development is that a center of excellence can be distributed across geographies to manage the economies of scale. There is no getting away from the fact that the ultimate distribution and sharing of knowledge needs to be at the location where the applications are being developed. But this does not mean that the work cannot be distributed.

While this is an attractive proposition, it requires careful planning to set it up. To set up an effective distributed COE, appropriate roles need to be defined and staffed at the client site, as well as at the offshore/nearshore locations. Effective project management and processes need to be set up to produce deliverables such as white papers, vendor evaluations, newsletters, FAQs, blueprints, architecture cookbooks, patterns and guidelines documents, etc. Appropriate infrastructure needs to be set up to enable effective communication and knowledge sharing.

As of yet, this is not a model that many organizations have thought through or established. Fortunately, in our client engagements, we have seen traction from several clients and genuine interest in taking advantage of the distributed nature of large global consulting shops. At Infosys we have been able to offer attractive value propositions for setting up such organizations. One of the primary requirements to be able to effectively deliver on promises made in such initiatives is to have a well-established research facility and alliances with the appropriate vendors in the SOA and Web services space. The distributed COE model that we have deployed is illustrated in Figure 1. The diagram illustrates how a center of excellence for Web services and SOA is established for a U.S. client, with portfolios distributed across different states. The states shown in the diagram have been changed from the actual sites where the COE has been implemented to maintain client confidentiality.

The bottom line is that if you have a large sized IT with multiple portfolios, and if you don't consider standardization and governance across your multitude of applications, then the cost that will be paid in the long run offsets the savings that you will achieve in the immediate future. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

More Stories By Ajit Sagar

Ajit Sagar is Associate VP, Digital Transformation Practice at Infosys Limited. A seasoned IT executive with 20+ years experience across various facts of the industry including consulting, business development, architecture and design he is architecture consulting and delivery lead for Infosys's Digital Transformation practice. He was also the Founding Editor of XML Journal and Chief Editor of Java Developer's Journal.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Microservices Articles
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a common and reliable transmission protocol on the Internet. TCP was introduced in the 70s by Stanford University for US Defense to establish connectivity between distributed systems to maintain a backup of defense information. At the time, TCP was introduced to communicate amongst a selected set of devices for a smaller dataset over shorter distances. As the Internet evolved, however, the number of applications and users, and the types of data accessed and...