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Optimizing the Benefits of EDM and SOA by Coordinating Strategies

Introducing the C-SODA Framework & CMM

The C-SODA Capability Maturity Model
The C-SODA CMM supports the framework for evaluating or driving increased organizational capabilities/maturity. Let's describe what a Service-Oriented Data Architecture (SODA) looks like, since increasing organizational maturity and EDM/SOA coordination will result in increased SODA capabilities.

Figure 3 shows a conceptual view of a SODA with an EAI/Data Integration layer at the center representing the foundational data and data platform services that will be reused in the other services layers. There are multiple layers and domains of SOA services represented in Figure 3 as two (or more) "SOA/ESB" domains addressing different levels of service abstractions and functional domains in the organization.

The SOA/ESB layers abstract "gold standard" data sources from data/service consumers whether end users at the User Experience/Presentation Layer or (Operational/Third-Party) systems. This abstraction lets us institute workflow and orchestrate/automate the services. Workflow management capabilities, coupled with business rules (i.e., new metadata) for decision making about which services to invoke with what parameters, how to notify users/systems throughout workflow progress, how to route messages, and how to manage SLAs further provides a powerful architecture to optimize data and services assets in a coordinated fashion.

Figure 4 shows building blocks for C-SODA strategy phases along the maturity path, ultimately leading to data and services managed as corporate assets (optimized phase). Each building block at each level of the CMM has implications for either or both EDM or SOA strategies/capabilities.

Each building block on each strategy level should be fulfilled before considering that level achieved and moving to the next. Many building blocks at lower strategy levels are prerequisites for higher-level ones, so lower building blocks should generally be fulfilled to achieve higher maturity levels. Data governance is a prerequisite to MDM, which is a prerequisite to EDM. Some aspects of these building blocks are prerequisites for Enterprise Business Services, which are prerequisites to maturing the enterprise as a SODA. Thus, in building a roadmap to achieve greater maturity along the C-SODA CMM, pay particular attention to unfulfilled prerequisite building blocks and address them in early prioritized initiatives.

Color-coding guidelines per strategy level, shown in Figure 4, can be utilized in the C-SODA ratings during an assessment of organizational maturity. More detailed C-SODA CMM views are shown in Figures 5 and 6 to address EDM/SOA perspectives, depending on the stakeholders. Either view can be utilized, but one may become the primary focus among an organization, program, or project.

Most organizations have reached some degree of centralized data sources, but still have inconsistent management of common data and services. This generally means they are centralized or managed but not optimized.

Figure 5 displays more detail than the building blocks diagram and further shows the appropriate evolutionary steps for each primary dimension of the C-SODA framework. We see how each of the primary dimensions progress in capabilities as the organization matures to more advanced C-SODA strategy phases. This roadmap of progressive capabilities can be adapted when defining the organization's future vision, overall and for each framework dimension/component.

Also notable in this view is that most organizations attempting to evolve their EDM/SOA strategies currently fall within centralized or managed strategy phases (deployment major phase) in maturity. To optimize these (coordinated) strategies, organizations must proceed further to enabled or optimized strategy phases (agility major phase).

Figure 6 shows an alternative SOA-centric view of the C-SODA CMM strategy levels. It is consistent with the building blocks and EDM view, but is intended to show capability maturity in terms of SOA stakeholders/implementers. As we develop coordinated EDM/SOA strategies and programs, these views may be utilized in parallel by appropriate groups, and the C-SODA CMM building blocks diagram (see Figure 4) would be utilized by all stakeholders/implementers as a shared vision for EDM/SOA capabilities further detailed in each view.

Next Steps
Organizations should develop an appropriate data-SOA governance program and C-SODA CMM coordinated at the highest levels to enable the optimal value of services and data. This is the highest priority in developing coordinated EDM/SOA capabilities.

As an organization develops its (data and/or SOA) governance, it should coordinate processes, checkpoints, and ownership for services/data. Because we rarely develop these strategies as coordinated entities initially, it's important to adapt appropriate processes between them and to (re-)define roles/responsibilities to support coordinated data-SOA governance.

If the organization has an overarching program/project management organization (PMO) that plans and funds initiatives, especially enterprise-level initiatives spanning services/data, coordination should be taken into account as prioritized initiatives laying the foundation for achieving advanced C-SODA capabilities.

The organization should scale progressive EDM/SOA initiatives, including data-SOA governance responsibilities for coordinated processes and communications. Internal education should inform EDM/SOA resources/stakeholders how to effectively leverage each other during joint activities. Last, a properly chartered COE/ICC can facilitate bringing diverse stakeholders together to drive the coordination during all stages of coordinated EDM/SOA initiatives.

More Stories By Keith R. Worfolk

Keith R. Worfolk is a senior architect with Hitachi Consulting. He has more than 21 years of senior IT management and executive-level success in strategic enterprise architecture, software development, and large-scale systems integration. He has strong international and Big 5 project experience. Keith earned an MBA from Duke University.

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