I recently had the opportunity to co-author with Ross Altman and Andrew White a “trilogy” of newly published research notes (see below) on the topic of the value of collaboration between business process management (BPM) service-oriented architecture (SOA) and master data management (MDM) initiatives. All three initiatives have at their heart a belief that collaboration and reuse of applications and data in the form of services which can be across shared workflows improves agility, lowers cost, and brings added agility to the business and IT.
So why is it then, that it seems like those who are focused on the three complementary initiatives appear to be building walls around their areas of expertise and, in essence creating application (SOA), process (BPM) and data (MDM) silos to the exclusion of each other and at the expense of the enterprise?
Much like a bunch of doctors who each specialize in different areas of medicine and each claim that there is nothing wrong with the patient – only to have the patient die due to the fact that no one had a broad enough vision of the illness to see that the patient was in an overall critical condition.
I’m seeing the idea of “reusable services” being abused in a manner to mean that those “specialists” in SOA, BPM and MDM can put a “black box set of services” around their individual domains without real concern about the specific use case needs of anyone else. Part of this, I’m sure, has to do with the fact that both the business and IT are becoming increasingly more complex and demanding, leading to less time to understand and address collaboration issues.
But this lack of collaboration should not be tolerated in organizations. A failure to ensure collaboration across SOA, BPM and MDM is an error in judgment and cheats the organization out of the possible added value when these initiatives are done in a complementary manner.
To ensure that the collaboration becomes a reality, organizations need to address two major roles which are especially important to achieve success – one at the enterprise solution architecture planning level where cross-architecture and cross-project collaboration occurs and another at the project-level where solution architecture design of reusable assets across projects from an SOA, BPM and MDM perspective occurs.
You can read more about these roles in my following blog:
Newly published research*
Why You Should Coordinate Your MDM, SOA and BPM Initiatives
Why Application and Business Architects and Analysts Should Care About MDM
MDM, SOA and BPM: Alphabet Soup or a Toolkit to Address Critical Data Management Issues?
*Available to Gartner clients or for a fee
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