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SaaS and the end of SOA? Part 2

  • I was reading eWeek today – as I do catching up in one long haul flight all the reading I meant to do since June. In the July 20th issue I came across  “10 Things you should know about …. Cloud Storage and Computing” column and got this quote:


    ·         “#9 Standard Business Processes… consider how standardized business processes can be an enabling force to expand and invent services that can address the world’s biggest problems, helping create a more connected, smarter planet”


    The other 9 things were insightful – especially the intersection of the private and public cloud.  #9 with its somewhat unfathomable logic brings to fore that the current vision of SaaS “standardization” and Strategy driven IT are not necessarily consistent.  Taking black box applications and delivering their value as a standardized service drives out operational cost but at the expense of strategic flexibility.


    So here is my personal SaaS manifesto:

    ·        SaaS should be just that: software as a SERVICE –  delivering from multi-tenant user interfaces is not enough

    ·        SaaS can easily take back to pre-SOA days. We must think this out now. SaaS application integration has no loop holes – no database back doors, no point to point, no pre and post processors … nothing that let us survive pre-SOA.

    ·        Microsoft and IBM need to enable an SOA vision that build off of SaaS.  SOA enablement that is much more ambitious than currently offered.

    ·        SaaS based SOA must be much more than northbound service orchestration.  SOA must be also southbound providing context to each service provider.

    ·        SaaS providers - at least those thinking beyond their islands of functionality into real enterprise needs – must be ready consumers of enterprise context.

    ·        Enterprise software applications  is the last stronghold of black boxed business logic in IT and Networks – SaaS should not be an excuse to delay any further move to Dynamic Business Modeling.

    o   As in pre-SaaS SOA does not solve the inherent difficulties of turning lead into gold.  – if the underlying applications’ services are black boxed no level of orchestration can morph these the services and processes the enterprise really needs.

    ·        Unless true service orchestration is delivered – one suite vendor Oracle will use its ability to integrate at lowest possible level – the database –  to solve the SaaS integration by “pre-integration”.  Making SaaS into “Suite as a Service” –  taking the black box-ness  of their suite into the next circle of hell where the CIO has even less control.  (Save us SAP!)


    There goes my invitation to day out on the “sail boat”.  But I am not that fond of the sea anyway - ever since a out of control Louisianan Rice Lobbyist scared the life out of me on an overpowered Boston Whaler on the Chesapeake Bay 20 years ago.


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  • Srinivasan Shanmugam
    Srinivasan Shanmugam I have read through most of your blogs (I think) and the content is very impressing and thoughtful.
    On SaaS, expecting someone to change the world is one thing but have you had any thoughts of any incremental steps on how the manifesto can be realized?
    September 29, 2009
  • Douglas Zone
    Douglas Zone CIO surveys all show that the primary criteria for IT investment is to further the strategic objectives of their businsses. I think the first move is for CIO to demand that SaaS and Cloud vendors, System Integrators, Network Operators and key enablers li...  more
    October 2, 2009