Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) offers a valuable set of techniques for developing large-scale, networked, agile, integrated systems that hold the promise of saving organizations time and money while speeding application development and increasing information technology functionality. At the same time, though, you can't buy a SOA, nor is the SOA process a one-size-fits-all solution. For senior decision makers responsible for major information systems investments, SOA and its underlying implementation standards present new IT planning and portfolio management challenges.
Incorporating SOA into an Overall Systems Engineering Approach
At MITRE, we have staff deeply versed in the systems aspects of SOA. Our exclusive focus is the federal government IT domain. In particular, we bring a systems engineering approach that looks at the big picture of what a government organization needs to accomplish through information processing—whether for its systems in the field or back-office operations—and the role that SOA might play.
Helping our Government Customers Navigate the Benefits and Constraints of SOA
Special considerations arise when employing SOA in the federal IT space. These include barriers that don't always exist in the commercial world, such as unique acquisition and funding models, legislated requirements, organizational and cultural issues, and challenges to managing services as a portfolio. Yet the evolution of SOA involves developments that cut across government, industry, and academia. MITRE is actively working with all three sectors to provide our customers with the insight that enables them to make the best decisions.
Bringing a Unique Not-For-Profit Perspective to Offer Impartial Advice
A specific challenge federal IT decision makers face is an overload of SOA-related information and commercial products. Sorting through the information, product capabilities, and vendor advice is no easy task. Because we are a not-for-profit, we can provide government agencies the best of both worlds in determining what's valuable. On the one hand, we offer an impartial perspective. On the other hand, we leverage our broad relationships and research capabilities to guide government agencies in gaining maximum value from their SOA investments.
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