Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Where SOA Meets Cloud: The Cloud, Agility, and Reuse

Agility and reuse are part of the value of cloud computing, and each has its own benefit to enterprise architecture.  In the past, as an industry, we've had issues around altering the core IT infrastructure to adapt to the changing needs of business.  While cloud computing is no "cure all" for agility, it does provide a foundation to leverage IT resources that are more easily provisioned and thus adaptable. 

Agility has a few dimensions here:
First is the ability to save development dollars through reuse of services and applications.  It's helpful to note that many services make up an application instance.  These services may have been built inside or outside of the company, and the more services that are reusable from system to system, the more ROI from our cloud computing. 

Second is the ability to change the IT infrastructure faster to adapt to the changing needs of the business, such as market downturns, or the introduction of a key product to capture a changing market.  This, of course, provides a strategic advantage and allows for the business to have a better chance of long-term survival.  Many enterprises are plagued these days with having IT infrastructures that are so poorly planned and fragile that they hurt the business by not providing the required degree of agility. 

Under the concept of reuse, we have a few things we need to determine to better define the value. 

These include:
·      The number of services that are reusable.
·      Complexity of the services.
·      The degree of reuse from system to system.

The number of reusable services is the actual number of new services created, or, existing services abstracted, that are potentially reusable from system to system.  The complexity of the services is the number of functions or object points that make up the service.  We use traditional functions or object points as a common means of expressing complexity in terms of the types of behaviours the service offers.  Finally, the degree of reuse from system to system is the number of times you actually reuse the services.  

Moreover, the amount of money saved depends upon your development costs, which vary greatly from company to company, data center to data center.  Typically you should know what you're paying for functions or object points, and thus it's just a matter of multiplication to determine the amount of money you can save by implementing a particular cloud computing solution

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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