Managing Information Technology - Set Term Paper

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The vision Oracle has is one of unifying all of their enterprise applications into their Fusion architecture and creating a single unifying Service oriented Architecture (SOA) was first announced in 2006 (Krill, 13). Since that time Oracle has continually strived to create an SOA in Fusion that would appeal to its corporate customers. The proposed Fusion SOA platform has been designed to be robust and scalable enough to encompass enterprise-level applications including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications while also being flexible enough to provide for individualized application development. There are critics of SOA in general and Fusion specifically, with industry analysts considering it too difficult to create a process-centric model that allows for pervasive, in-depth applications necessary for mission-critical business while at the same time allowing for significant scalability (Handy, 2005). Despite these concerns however Fusion continues to gain market acceptance and provide Oracle with a path to the fulfillment of their long-term vision.

Exploring Oracle's Vision of the Future in Service Oriented Architectures The revolution that started when IT Departments and the CIOs that ran them became more accountable to business strategy definition and contribution than merely cost containment, the greater the burden on manufacturers and services companies to have a greater level of customer centricism than ever before. As a result of this new level of accountability, SOAs began to and also continue today to revolutionize manufacturing globally. Oracle sees this revolution as critical to their entire strategy going forward (Krill, 13).

Many challenges manufacturers and companies face appear initially to be externally driven by environmental and market forces out of their control, yet it is in the ability of many manufacturers to accurately sense and respond with synchronized and forceful strategies that attain the intended results and strategies. Oracle's vision is to enable companies to better meet these challenges over time. In effect Oracle sees SOA platforms as the means for companies to capitalize on the data they have while also creating more value through data and process integration over time. Without strong integration built on an agile and intelligent IT platform, no manufacturer can hope to survive in the turbulent, unpredictable, and accelerating competitive environments that typify many manufacturing industries.

For Oracle, the ability to integrate their many acquisitions together into a single platform is critical for this vision to be transformed into a reality. What's needed is an agile IT architecture that can align on the core supplier, buyer, and customer-facing processes and re-align not only IT resources, but serve as a catalyst for capturing knowledge and repurposing it throughout a global manufacturing enterprise. Clearly there is a strong need for SOAs as a result of these dynamics and Oracle intends to capitalize on them.

What makes SOA highly differentiated as an IT strategy is the potential it provides to turn what had been exclusively a cost center into a business center, where P&L can be determined by the contribution of information to decisions. To look at SOA, as purely a cost reduction strategy is short-sighted, myopic, and will lead many manufacturing companies to mistakenly move towards ERP consolidation in the hopes SOA can answer the shortfall. SOA is clearly not a cost reduction strategy, yet the business benefits it provides of making manufacturing more attuned to customers and suppliers, in short becoming more attuned to its own value chain, are where the true ROI of SOA is today. Oracle's expertise in analytics is one of the key anchor points of this strategy going forward.

SOA architectures also promote a high degree of process independence as well. The core value proposition for Oracle going forward is the concentration on how to transform business processes into long-term competitive advantages over time. The SOA architecture in general and Fusion specifically are aimed at this objective. To transform the key business processes of manufacturers to allow them to become more market-driven and capable of responding to customers' needs is critical. SOAs are meant to be the platforms that enable greater responsiveness over time. Second, Oracle sees that the use of databases, their core business, is often broken, disparate and lack integration. The unique value position of the SOA architectures Fusion is to provide a means for allowing customer datasets to be more unified and aligned to a common objective to serving customers more thoroughly and effectively than has been the case in the past.

SOA architectures are providing organizations with the ability to be more agile and responsive to customers' needs, from information in the short-term to the defining of new product development processes in the longer-term. As the catalyst of significant change in organizations, SOA initiatives are most effective when they are directly tied to customer-based strategies and results. The purpose of an SOA initiative must be to bring greater clarity to the unmet needs of customers, so that entire organizations become more market-driven.

Of the many challenges involved in implementing an SOA architecture, the greatest is integration to legacy systems including ERP systems and the migration of application functionality from distributed order management systems. The development of a scalable SOA architecture makes it possible to redefine an organization's processes and make them more efficient over time. SOA initiatives that include legacy, ERP and distributed order management integration in addition to process re-engineering deliver consistently higher results than those that don't take these considerations into account.

What SOA architectures have had to contend with however is the chaotic nature of enterprise platform investment many organizations have made to this point. There is often no strategic plan to attain alignment of IT investments with business strategies, and further, no accountability either. The role of SOA architectures aimed at taking the logic of distributed order management legacy systems and transforming them into Web Services has shown to provide greater agility and speed of market response for companies adopting this strategy. In addition, SOA platforms that rely on Web Services-based distributed order management also are transforming their multichannel management strategies including online ordering, order capture and supply chain synchronization for build-to-order workflows.

The bottom line is that SOA delivers competitive advantages by synchronizing supply chains with customer demands. SOA is a new competitive weapon that manufacturers are discovering that uses information assets not as historical mile markers, but as the fuel to propel their companies into more precisely aligned strategies for sensing and responding to demand.

Business Model for Information Security


The Internet's growth and adoption continues to completely transform business models and permanently change how both people and organizations communicate, transact, serve, and collaborate with one another. With this exponential growth of the Internet, there have been a multitude of approaches to enabling communication, collaboration, and transactions. All of these advances, both from an Internet standpoint but also from an applications one have significantly increased the simplest to the most complex transactions now completed over the Internet. Whenever a transaction is being completed however, even if only data is being traded, the security risks increase markedly. Transactions attract theft, fraud, and security breaches. This is especially true in the context of the Internet and its support of transactions of both data and funds between individuals and between companies.

As the Internet has now become a platform that enables electronic commerce, there has been an exponential rise in all forms of security breaches and theft of both data and funds over the Internet. There are six strategic pressures or concerns that are driving the need for Internet security today for every organization. The first three are trends occurring in the external marketplace, and the remainder is originating from within organizations. These three dominant external trends impacting all organizations are first the quick and agile access to information of all kinds, including transaction data to support global trade; the continual leakage of customer and confidential data; and third, the incidences of financial and operational losses as a result of compromised confidential data and the resulting disruption of business operations. The remaining three strategic pressures on organizations include the heightened regulatory oversight and increasingly automated regulatory audits; the risks that are inherent in defining strategies for privileged access to information; and third, the risk by internally-driven security attacks and attacks from hackers outside the company but based on compromised information. These six specific strategic pressures combine to put many organizations and the individuals they serve at a higher level of risk than has been the case in the past. Clearly the needs for greater levels of attack deterrence are needed.

The Catalyst of Security Business Models for Security

Whenever a computer system or network is capable of being infiltrated and comprised, it is considered vulnerable. It has been argued by many systems and Internet engineers that the majority of systems on the Internet today have a high level of vulnerability despite the many security measures in place by both individuals and organizations. When…[continue]

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