"I'm really excited about SOA," says Gianni Giacomelli, head of BPO Strategy and Marketing at SAP. "Conceptually, it's a revolution in outsourcing that will take it to the next level."
Software implementations today are constrained by yesterday's way of writing code. As Giacomelli explains, software developers wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of code that, together, handle a business process (such as finance and accounting). But the code is not clearly segmented into functions or subprocesses (such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, collections, general ledger, and fixed assets). It's often difficult to take out the lines of code for subprocesses and give them to another company. And, at times, companies have to implement an entire system even if they only want to use one segment of the code.
In contrast, SOA makes the code accessible in pieces, so to speak, that are very easy to map to business subprocesses. So if a company only wants to implement a system for collections or a system for the general ledger, for example, SOA enables that option.
"By being able to do that, you enable one simple thing: specialization," explains Giacomelli. He compares it to automobile manufacturers that use subcontractors to build almost of the components that make up a car. "Those components became a natural breeding ground for organizations that are specialized in doing specific things such as making brakes or transmissions. Without specialization, we wouldn't be able to have cars that cost what they do today. Cars were expensive and extremely rudimentary decades ago because there was no specialization in the components in the car."
Source: Outsourcing Journal
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