Business-Oriented Architecture: SOA Refocused

by Benjamin Moreland, December 7, 2011
Industry Trends
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America


Service-oriented architecture (SOA) has provided the means to give control back to businesses. SOA is an IT solution for complex integration, and business-oriented architecture is a process that allows businesses to define their model and processes to drive IT and SOA, resulting in greater value.

SOA has matured over the years to address the large IT pain points of complex and expensive integration hurdles created by the distribution of IT system solutions across the business. It has allowed insurers to reuse similar business functionality, create standards-based interfaces, and, in more mature organizations, provide SOA governance to maximize the IT benefits of lower maintenance costs and quick project delivery. However, SOA addresses IT bottlenecks, not the business process. Working from the bottom up will not result in the most efficient and effective business processes. The time is ripe to take a business-oriented architecture (BOA) approach to focus on processes, especially in today’s customer-centric world. BOA is the perfect driver for SOA, maximizing business and IT benefits.

In a new report, Business-Oriented Architecture: SOA Refocused, Celent describes a business-focused approach for defining and driving IT. BOA is based on three tenets:

  • Implementation independence
  • Location independence
  • Contracts

BOA allows the business to create business models and processes independent of IT implementations and removes dependencies on programming languages and location. It also places accountability back on the business through the creation of contracts around the business processes and services they may require. IT then creates solutions that mirror these business models and implements metering solutions that allow monitoring and reporting of contracts.

“SOA has matured greatly over the last 10 years, but it will never allow businesses to focus on business process efficiencies and effectiveness because it is rooted in IT. However, SOA has provided the bridge to allow insurers to take back control and accountability for business processes and drive IT,” says Ben Moreland, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance group and coauthor of the report. “This is exactly what IT wants.”

This report describes a BOA approach and provides recommendations for implementing BOA.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary





SOA Shortcomings


Business-Oriented Architecture



Implementation Independence



Message Format Independence



Location Independence



Contract Management


BOA/SOA Relationship



BOA/Cloud Relationship



BOA in Insurance




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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