IBM: Tackle Tough Economy With SOA

At a new IBM online conference on SOA and the economy, Sandy Carter, IBM vice president for SOA, BPM and WebSphere Marketing, said that successfully navigating today's tough economy requires developing ways to measure business agility.

"We believe that service orientation really is the key to agility and cost optimization," Carter says. "By extracting services from your applications, putting those business services in a reusable format, it allows you to quickly change, based on what's happening in the environment, or to invoke change yourself on the industry. It allows you to flexibly connect information, because you isolate the business logic from the underpinning IT. And then you can reuse, not just the IT assets, but the business assets as well. This allows you to unlock the power of your business resources, as well as your IT resources. And provide agility and cost optimization."

Carter reports that IBM now provides "Key Agility Indicators" (KAIs) as part of its SOA offerings. "If you're going to focus on agility, you need to be able to measure it," she explains. "Now, we're all used to doing KPIs, or key performance indicators, that are focused on efficiency and quality. But in today's flat world, we need to add to what we look at, key agility indicators-how quickly you can do something."

For more information, visit the IBM SOA website.