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The 5 R’s of transformation to cloud and SOA platforms

‎11-22-2013 11:25 AM - edited ‎09-30-2015 06:59 AM

Change may be the one certainty in today’s enterprise environment. In years past, organizational leaders focused primarily on integrating various systems or records—from one system to another—with systems of engagement or various partner applications. Those simpler days are gone.


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With the acceleration and adoption of cloud and service-oriented architecture (SOA) platforms, you face more complex and pressing integration challenges. Current-generation integrations may require planning for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, cloud-based web services, mobility services, enterprise social media capabilities, and more.


As cloud continues to emerge, there are clear and compelling reasons to take a more formal approach to applications integration and transformation. Certainly, the benefits of cloud-based capabilities are increasingly well known. From a strategic perspective, organizations may seek cloud integration to accelerate time-to market, streamline workforce requirements, and better connect with customers, constituents, and partners. Cloud and SOA platforms enable you to realize economies of scale and streamline workforce requirements. Cloud can also access new functional capabilities or ensure compliance with industry and governmental regulations.


From the more granular IT view, effective cloud integration enables organizations to better connect diverse legacy applications, and extend the useful life of those assets. Companies can use integration to enforce standards across heterogeneous environments and improve portfolio-wide governance.


When considering a move to cloud or SOA environments, you should start by gaining a clear understanding of your organization’s underlying business objectives, and the financial, security, functional, and technical requirements of applications and related systems. The assessment should also determine—based on the stated business-level goals—which modernization strategy is best for each software application. There are five potential modernization pathways available for any enterprise application:


Re-host can be thought of as a “lift and shift” operation. In a re-host, existing applications are migrated to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model without changing the business features or basic functionality of the application.


Re-architect is essentially a rewrite of the application in a more modern language, typically using SOA principles. It involves forward engineering of an application toward a set of loosely coupled services that are called on independently by users through a cloud provisioning system. This modernization pathway enables the application to take advantage of the cloud platform, and gives the enterprise greater agility and application elasticity.


Re-factor optimizes code to improve run-time efficiency, and takes advantage of the cloud platform. It does not change the application’s business logic or programming language.


Retire occurs when an application is not appropriate for cloud or SOA environments. In those cases, the application should be retired.


Re-interface is created to enable traditional applications to be exposed and consumed in the cloud. Middleware technology is used to support message transport, data migration, and service orchestration.


HP recommends a Center of Excellence approach to the design, development, and deployment of cloud and SOA, and for establishing architecture and technologies that underpin a successful transformation. The integration architecture describes principles, standards, and models needed to deploy and manage a transformed environment.  To read more, click here.


About the author

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Amita Jadhav, PMP certified, is an HP Master business consultant and senior member of the SOA and Integration Services team. She is a recognized TIBCO subject-matter expert and widely known as a consultant and technical leader for her vast knowledge in crafting innovative solutions to integrate disparate systems within an enterprise, or across enterprises, to maximize business agility.

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