I just finished reading Succeeding with SOA by Paul C. Brown. First let me start by saying that Service Oriented Architecture has been a widely discussed and presented topic in the architecture space. That being said, Paul presents it from a new perspective that interwinds the business and technology aspects and implications of designing/implementing an SOA architecture. This paradigm (Total Architecture), recognizes the fact that underpinning a successful architecture is the effective interplay of business process, people, information and systems. The author than goes on to discuss each of these areas in great detail. On the business process sides, one of the highlights is around ensuring the processes are well owned, understood, documented and measured. The later enables the tracking of metrics to ensure that any subsequent changes/modifications can be benchmarked for improvement. On the people side, the organization must have proper project/program structure and governance to ensure the effective design and implementation of the desired architecture. This structure must ensure that incentives and goals are aligned, across business silos, to ensure the successful implementation of enterprise services. On the information and services side, discussions around what constitutes a service and best practices around designing them are presented.
As mentioned, the aspect that resonates with me the most is the level of engagement required with the business side (non-IT) to ensure a successful SOA or for that mater any architecture. This is not a journey IT can lead on its own. This in turn reflects itself on changes not only in the underlying business processes but the behavior/culture of the people.
Overall a great and enjoyable read for business and IT folks alike who are considering/interested in Service Oriented Architecture. Looking forward to reading the followup implementation guide/book by the same author! Highly recommended.