The adoption of SOA has significant implications to NIH Enterprise Systems, the processes in place to support these systems, the supporting application infrastructure, and the staff and financial and technical resources required to enhance and maintain systems. In the past two years, NIH has established many of the fundamental components necessary to support enterprise-wide SOA, but needed to continue oversight to realize the desired benefits of SOA. To assist NIH increase the acceptance and use of SOA by NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and achieve maximum benefit from the SOA program and, the Office of the Chief Architect brought on Octo Consulting Group to conduct an NIH-wide SOA assessment, refine the SOA governance strategy, and define SOA planning artifacts and governance to improve the overall maturity of SOA at NIH.
Octo conducted a SOA Assessment that identified the challenges they are facing and the opportunities that SOA may be able to address, and determine the role that NIH can play in supporting enterprise SOA. It started with a comprehensive set of interviews and a summary of key findings across SOA Knowledge Maturity, SOA Provider Readiness, SOA Consumer Readiness, Technology Readiness, Process Readiness, and Organizational Readiness. The output of the assessment led to a number of tactical and strategy improvements that helped NIH move forward with their SOA investments that included the development of a Service DEsign Alignment Tool, standardized Service Contract for all new NIH Services, a design and implementation of a Service repository, and SOA governance policies.