Research: Service-Oriented IT

Sep 23, 2011


Service-Oriented IT: Meld Process, Security and Tools

Today, everyone wants an IT architecture that provides for flexible, fast support of new initiatives and tight security while allowing business units to understand the capabilities and costs of services they choose, whether delivered internally or by an outside provider.

As is often the case, what we want and what most of us have are two different things. Our InformationWeek 2011 Services-Oriented IT Survey shows a hefty majority of our 479 respondents (76%) are either working toward or considering a service-oriented architecture, but currently, just 25% say they actively manage IT as a service.

In this report, we'll examine survey results and discuss how to advance on this path by breaking the discussion into three parts: Jonathan Feldman analyzes the benefits of granular, service-oriented IT vs. the conventional monolithic model and offers advice on how to move the needle. Then Michael A. Davis reveals how to get an internal security-as-a-service program off the ground, with lessons that are applicable to other areas of IT. Finally, Michael Biddick examines the tools that can help make service management a reality today.

This isn't an easy transition. There's natural tension among security and usability of tools and customer-friendly processes. If security is too onerous, users will bypass it, leading to outages, downtime, data theft and who knows what else. That's true whether IT's delivered piecemeal or as unified services. When faced with a complex task, you may be better off working with a specialized provider rather than keeping that function in house and offering it as a service -- but how will you know if you can't compare apples to apples? However, assembling all the components needed to deliver a business service, and pricing it appropriately, requires insight into your architecture and often sophisticated, expensive tools. Even then, translating what users say they want into processes and technologies can be a Mars vs. Venus situation.

But hey, who says reinvention is easy? (R3130911)

Survey Name: InformationWeek Services-Oriented IT Survey
Survey Date: July 2011
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 479

Research Report