Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bringing SOA to the Cloud

While CIOs often worry that cloud computing will bring about disruptive change to an organisation's IT operations, they need to embrace the change and not resist it.

So said Joe Ruthven, business development manager of SOA and open computing, IBM south and sub-Saharan Africa, while identifying the implications of cloud computing for SOA at the recent ITWeb SOA conference.

According to Ruthven, “CIOs should understand the benefits of cloud, as well as its drawbacks”. He added that when they understand cloud computing, they will be comfortable implementing it.

“They can use architecture, systems management, and SOA to deliver a cloud plan that satisfies their needs and demonstrates ROI delivered by IT,” Ruthven advised. This improves visibility of IT use, and is more responsive, simpler, and cheaper, he stated.

“However, it requires an overall strategic vision with a pragmatic, evolutionary approach.”


Ruthven advised CIOs to start by developing the cloud architecture and plan. “After this, CIOs should implement security, audit, and systems management technologies.” He noted that they should make sure the architecture is service-oriented, and that all systems demonstrate ROI.

After implementing the architecture, CIOs can identify which IT services may be best to deploy as a cloud-based service, either public or private. Ruthven advised CIOs to consider the cloud as a supplement where risk and migration cost may be too high.

According to Ruthven, SOA complements cloud computing and they require similar capabilities, including: architectural and organisational models; optimisation, innovation and value delivery; flexibility and agility (security, reuse, and sharing of 'services').

“While clouding ensures virtualisation at all layers of the architecture, SOA provides flexibility, reuse, and separation of concerns,” he pointed out. He advised CIOs to exploit a dynamic and elastic environment to enable innovation and to get optimum use from resources.

Case for cloud

According to Ruthven, the reason for embracing cloud computing is that IT needs to become smarter about delivering services. “The growing complexity of IT systems and the coming of a trillion connected things demand that sprawling processes become standardised services that are efficient, secure, and easy to access.”

Ruthven added that cloud computing enables business imperatives and supports innovation. “It provides open, elastic IT environments, optimises IT investments and reduces fixed costs.” Above all, it enables real-time data streams and information sharing, he concluded.

IT Web Business

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