The Oracle Australia and New Zealand Middleware and Technology Blog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Breathing Life into Applications with Middleware

Oracle recently published a special report on what strategies business can explore in uncertain times.

I would like to add further commentary on what the authors stated.

Businesses have, for the most part, invested heavily in acquiring and building applications to assist them in driving business efficiencies. With the widespread adoption of ERP though, I feel that differentiation has begun to fade. So maybe the question we could ask ourselves is, what can we do today to deliver rapid value, utilising existing applications investments, and provide a sustainable platform for future growth? In addressing the challenge above, a number of key organisations I know of are reevaluating the role middleware performs in their architectures. They have achieved remarkable short-term results in areas such as consolidation and business process efficiencies, while at the same time underpinning their broader business transformation strategies.

Cost reduction through consolidation is high on the priority list of CIO’s. Adopting a service-oriented approach can support application consolidation. By identifying key business services delivered by existing applications and key processes that will drive business value, organisations can determine which of their applications they can retire, retain, or build out to agile composite applications.

Replacing expensive and unmanageable point-to-point integration with reusable services can further reduce architectural complexity and associated costs, allowing for more effort and funding to be injected into projects that would contribute towards the differentiation of the business.

In the longer term, application upgrades prove to be costly due to the level of customisation and extension conducted during its lifespan. Moving an application to a major point release could cost 20% (see document under whitepapers) of the original implementation cost. Performing customisations in an upgrade resilient services layer supports application upgrade pain reduction!

To hear more about how middleware can support and enhance your applications investment, our Oracle Australia team, together with our customers, will be delivering sessions at this years Oracle User Group in Sydney on the 20th and 21st April. I will be there too! Together will Debra Lilley, an Oracle ACE from the UK, we will discuss and demonstrate how businesses can use process management to facilitate transformation and how easy it is to extend your Oracle applications using Oracle BPEL Process Manager. See you there!

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