Many enterprise software vendors have been forced to change their dated architecture and to adapt to changing customer requirements. Customers require software that can accommodate rapidly changing business requirements, provide real-time information in consumable form, and require minimal IT and programming intervention when changes are needed. Software should be collaboration-capable, workflow-capable, scalable, and most of all, provide convenience and ease of use.
Many enterprise software systems do not offer the flexibility required to keep pace with organizational agility, thereby falling short of expectations. The consequences are: an incorrect system that that cannot keep pace with organizational change, lack of data portability, increased organizational risk, increased business disruption and increased costs for upgrading or system replacement.
Although these problems pertain to both on-premise and cloud vendors, cloud vendors are often more agile and can incorporate these changes quicker, often with less disruption. This is accomplished by the way the software is delivered – through the cloud. Obstacles to flexibility for cloud vendors may be tenancy issues, which impact agility and can make it difficult to deliver rapid change.
Within the last few years software vendors have made exceptional strides in redesigning their SOA. These new architectures are built to scale, accommodate rapid organizational change, and incorporate social, mobile, collaborative and workflow capabilities which they previously lacked. Such vendors as SAP have gone back to the drawing board to integrate ByDesign to the HANA platform which should provide them with the flexibility that customers are requesting. Other vendors are using middleware to solve the problems of non-compliant software and incorporating add-ons to existing systems. This approach may work if the software is easy to implement and is seamless to end users. Without a unified, coherent interface the customer tends to regress and is at the same level of difficulty at which they started.
The new architectures have been designed to remain agile and reduce overall TCO for organizations. This is accomplished by less IT and vendor intervention for programming changes and customizations, lowering administrative costs and reducing the dependency on multiple systems. These areas of deficiencies are main gaps the new breed of SOAs address.
Consumerism is driving the enterprise market to keep pace with the B2C applications. They are usually quicker to market and can be developed faster because they do not need the depth of functionality enterprise software requires. Gamification has made enterprise software more functional and easier to use and has influenced enterprise SOA for the better. Vendors have responded in kind and are offering additional value to customers due to the extended platform capabilities, filling once devoid functionality gaps.
Customers evolve quickly and expect their software to keep pace with their changing environment. Organizations would be best served to carefully evaluate all aspects of a software’s SOA. Building integration abilities to new and existing systems, agility, ease of use, utility, portability and scalability are key areas that organizations should thoroughly investigate when selecting new systems.