SOA is a standards-based design approach to creating an integrated IT infrastructure capable of rapidly responding to changing business needs. SOA provides the principles and guidance to transform a company’s existing array of heterogeneous, distributed, complex and inflexible IT resources into integrated, simplified and highly flexible resources that can be changed and composed to more directly support business goals.
A business’s ability to respond to changing market conditions — agility — will determine its competitiveness and ability to survive. To attain agility, business needs a method of removing barriers between business and IT, and reducing the complexity of heterogeneous IT environments. SOA does this through an approach for building modular (loosely coupled, reusable) services with well-defined interfaces that encapsulate business processes. These reusable assets can be quickly repurposed and recombined to create new functionality that allows business to respond to constant change. Wellarchitected SOA supports multi-platform, heterogeneous environments, and accommodates new as well as legacy business systems and processes. Service-oriented architectures provide agility, stability, predictability and manageability in a highly distributed and chaotic component world.