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The Survivor's Guide to 2004: Business Applications

SOA (Save Our ... Well, You Know)

The key to surviving 2004 will be to ensure that the products you purchase are fully hype-compliant. Support for SOA is imperative to providing an interoperable, flexible application infrastructure that can rapidly adopt new technologies as well as provide a mechanism for incorporating legacy applications into this brave new world of Web services.

SOA enables true real-time decision-making. The hallmark of the RTE (real-time enterprise) is up-to-the-second data on the health of your organization from both the business and operational viewpoints, and the glue holding this vision together is Web services. But to effectively take advantage of all the real-time data streaming to your desktop, you'll have to deal with data-integrity issues. Of course, the costs of keeping data clean and processes optimized are no small bananas, but the rewards are great.

A Clean Machine

A bona fide RTE provides its business-line managers with the aforementioned up-to-the-second facts to enable decision-making. But if the integrity of the data is in question, decisions based on that data must also be questioned. Thus, success depends heavily on reliable data. You can't achieve the visibility necessary to manage IT as a business if the data you're depending on is dirty; moreover, technologies such as BAM and EII (enterprise information integration) fail to deliver on their promises when data is unreliable.

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