Would it be time to start thinking in a service-oriented way?
In a service-oriented model of thinking different stakeholders are provided just the services suitable for them through different views. Stakeholders include for example customers, suppliers and partners. Within these groups it is possible to recognize and define even smaller groups and their specific needs. A service platform is the method to execute this.
The service platform acts as a mediator, through which suitable views are offered to users. These views are built based on the users’ needs. Foundation for these services consists of the organization’s own or also external processes and systems, which are compiled together by the service platform using a process engine. With the help of the process engine, it is possible to operate several processes even simultaneously.
Service-oriented thinking requires introduction of a centralized integration solution. A service platform serves client requests between company’s applications and data warehouses. All stakeholders and customers can be integrated into the service platform. This can be executed in two different ways: Offering them an application interface description of how they can independently integrate into, or offer them integration as a service.
Introduction of a service platform means better maintenance, scalability and security!
Better maintenance is achieved when all changes to the back-end systems (such as server infrastructure changes, version updates or a system replacement) need to be implement just once, regardless of how many clients or stakeholders are using them via integrations.
Better information security is achieved with a SOA governance layer, which is a part of the service platform. For example, some stakeholders can be required to use secured or encrypted data transfers, and some can allow a straight HTTP-connection. In addition, audit trail can be followed for each stakeholder individually: actions and message traffic can be confirmed in any time period.
The Service Platform is critical for all service providers whose services include integrating customers’ applications to their own as a part of company’s business processes. These can include for example financial administration, logistics or marketing service providers. Adding new clients and stakeholders is an easy-to-manage and repeatable process by reusing existing integration implementations.
An open interface is often added to the service platform, which enables organizations external providers to create new services and thus expand the service offering of the organization. Read more about APIs here.
With service platform companies can serve their customers with better quality and productivity.
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