In November, Valero plans to upgrade its core SAP ERP system, which will enable the company to use the pre-built Web services SAP is beginning to deliver on that system. Valero is also evaluating SAP's Visual Composer and other tools designed to help IT's technical and functional service manager teams more quickly build reusable applications from enterprise Web services. (Visual Composer provides drag-and-drop model-driven application-building capabilities.)
Toward the end of the decade, the company hopes to push these capabilities out to business users, so they can build their own applications with the help of enterprise services provided by IT; they'll add their own logic, post the programs on their own Web pages, and maintain them independently.
"There are a lot of users out there itching to control their own destiny, to not have to come to IT for all the requirements," says Nayyar.
And that, in turn, frees IT to focus on developing the core enterprise capabilities that will be strategic for the business, rather than remaining bogged down in the nuances of each business unit's application demands.
Self-service is the wave of SOA's future, according to the SOA Consortium's Soley. "Success will be defined by IT being the innovators and business being able to orchestrate the services they need," he says.
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