Measure Results

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2007-03-08 Print this article Print

Service-oriented architecture is here to stay. Job one, say the experts, is to learn from past projects so your company can wring the most value from future SOA implementations.

5) Measure Results

Is the move to SOA paying off, and if so, how? Some benefits, such as improved customer service, might be difficult to quantify. But others, like increased productivity and cost savings, can and should be measured.

Organizations need to develop metrics that will help them determine the long-term value of SOA, Finley says. For example, when building a return on investment model for an SOA project, companies must determine how to justify the cost of a technology initiative that might not begin paying back until years after the implementation.

"How do you put a value on that and, down the road, measure it?" Finley points out. "If you build a bunch of services, are people actually using them? There's a whole set of metrics that go along with this idea of reusable services; are you really delivering on those benefits you promised for SOA, like increased quality and flexibility? I don't think anyone out there has the answers on how to measure these things."

TD Banknorth is trying to build "general" SOA metrics such as the number of times a new service was executed in a day, week or month, and who is using the service, Castinado says. Based on its measures, the company determined that 80% of its SOA services were being used by more than one entity for development projects, and that it had reduced development costs by 50% over a nine-month period because of this reuse.


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