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Article

Information Oriented Architecture - A New Take on SOA

Data virtualization is a key component

The Bloor Group recently released a white paper describing comprehensive reference data architecture.  Called the Information Oriented Architecture or IOA, it is a data-oriented companion to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Its purpose is to aid organizations seeking to modernize their information architectures to meet today’s data-centric business requirements.

Because data virtualization was a key component in the IOA, my company, Composite Software, both sponsored and contributed to this important research study.

Why an Information Oriented Reference Architecture Is Needed
According to Dr. Robin Bloor, principal analyst with the Bloor Group who authored the study, the need for an effective architecture to manage business intelligence (BI) and BI–related applications has become obvious in recent years.

“The dream of a single data warehouse satisfying all data needs is thankfully long dead,” Dr. Bloor said.  “However the demand for data services and data integration has not evaporated. Indeed, it has grown to the extent that satisfying this demand with point–to–point data flows is becoming impractical. This more than anything else has established the need for an IOA.”

Key Elements in the IOA
The white paper offers insights about the key technologies that existto design, launch and maintain an IOA as well as those that enable the kind of agile and service business intelligence long sought by organizations large and small. These technologies fall primarily into four major categories including:

  • Data Management including Data Virtualization
  • Software Development
  • Middleware
  • BI Applications

These span a range of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured information types, both on-premise and in the cloud.

Unfinished Business
The best thing about the paper is that it provides a comprehensive “after” architecture.  So it provides a great vision to for enterprises who know they need to reset their current information architecture.

However the road map to get from current state to future state is missing.  Key questions that I hope Bloor and his team will address in the future include:

  • How can we justify a major reset of our information architecture?  Is greater agility the highest value, cost savings, other, or some combination?
  • Where do we start?  What is the short list of technologies to adopt and activities to accomplish?
  • Who leads the effort?  Business?  Applications and BI teams?  Architects?
  • What other enterprises have done it?  Can we learn from innovators and reduce our risk?
  • When do we begin?  What is the opportunity cost of delay?

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.