Using IT Practices to Bridge the Worlds of Business and IT

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Organizations that can enable complex IT services quickly and cost effectively have a significant competitive advantage. But this kind of agility requires an IT infrastructure that enables the seamless integration of business processes and information in disparate applications, collaboration among all involved parties, and the rapid management and adaptation of business processes. Traditional IT infrastructures make the rapid development of flexible IT services nearly impossible. Building business processes that span organizational units means building links between heterogeneous systems, an expensive and time-consuming proposition. And modifying existing functionality can be prohibitively difficult or even impossible.

Web services and service-oriented architectures are huge strides in simplifying application integration. Web services offer a standardized and vendor-agnostic way to cope with heterogeneous systems and to create interoperability. But Web services are insufficient to the task. They are too granular to be efficient building blocks for enterprise business scenarios, and they do not yet provide a way to ensure semantic interoperability. To efficiently develop new business solutions that leverage existing applications, you need business-level building blocks that aggregate the benefits of multiple Web services and that simplify interoperability between them. In other words, you need Enterprise Services Architecture.

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