No IT project can succeed or proceed without funding. Traditional projects focused on the delivery of silo-based applications typically had straightforward funding models. Because of the single-purpose nature of the application logic, it was relatively simple to calculate the costs of delivery and the anticipated return on investment. In fact, this predictability factor is one of the strengths of silo-based delivery approaches.
With SOA projects, funding is more complex due to the strategic goals we aim to achieve and work toward with the delivery of each service. Funding becomes the concern of those delivering the services, those expecting to reuse the services, and those responsible for establishing an environment for multiple services. Furthermore, being able to show the returns on funding investments becomes another primary area of interest to those providing the funding and to those using the funds.
Therefore, establishing proper funding mechanisms and a means of proving consistent benefits and returns are critical to the success of any SOA governance program.
In this chapter, we explore two fundamental levels of SOA funding:
- Platform Funding – This level provides funds for the delivery of collections or inventories of services. Platform funding models are therefore generally focused on establishing the supporting infrastructure for a given service inventory.
- Service Funding – This level provides funds for the delivery of individual services. These services rely on an already-funded service inventory platform.
Furthermore, we will discuss how to capture and communicate the benefits and ROI of the platforms and services that have been funded. Once these models are in place and the necessary financial elements are identified, tangible and implied benefits can be calculated.