SOA is a better way to do application integration, but a small SOA vision centered on integration misses the point of designing for greater business flexibility. The word “service” in SOA refers to business services, which capture business capabilities in digital form, making them available for reconfiguration and reconnection to meet a constantly changing landscape of business needs.
To align services with business capabilities, IT must design SOA-based business services within the context of the business processes they serve. The real power of SOA comes in putting analysis of technology as well as business in a tight feedback loop that aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility of business process operations.
IT shops must demonstrate that they have the business savvy to participate in business-level discussions. Beyond “talking business language” IT must “think business thoughts” in order to gain the credibility and respect needed to partner with the business, and design digital business services that best capture the capabilities needed for the future of the business.