- Network-Centric Service-Oriented Enterprise (NCSOE)
"Network-Centric Service-Oriented Enterprise (NCSOE)" is a new generation enterprise capable of conducting collaboration and management of internal and external information. Using "Network-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES)", the enterprise can now enforce information and decision superiority in a decentralized, loosely coupled, and highly interoperable manner. To achieve its business goals of "Network-Centric Business Operations (NCBO)", this new enterprise operation environment must adopt NCES. From the standpoint of system integration, this enterprise service platform establishes a "System-of-Systems (SoS)" view for its information technologies. This offers a synergistic combination of data and information-processing capacities upon an innovative networked framework based on services.
Introduction to NCSOE
NCSOE is used to enrich generic enterprise applications. In essence, it is this combination of business policies, techniques, and procedures that allows networked resources to create decisive "Information Superiority (IS)" in business operations.
The insights and values of this new concept are critical to an enterprise’s success and should be seen as a general advantage to business operations. Furthermore, exposure of NCSOE to the whole enterprise as an integrated framework (work processes, data flows, Web services, network communications, etc.) can positively impact existing corporate cultures. For example, the on-demand computing feature of NCSOE that is capable of dynamically shifting work between similar services and routing the results, can help enterprises to identify and leverage similar or redundant resources. This forces an enterprise to enhance its organizations and responsibilities.
A cornerstone of successful NCSOE is its ability to leverage enterprise services and capacities in order to share workforces across departments, organizations, or companies. Such capabilities amount to an optimization of corporate-data management. Supported by reliable, consistent, and predictable communications between services that are deployed across a distributed enterprise, NCSOE can produce higher standards for business fulfillment and assurance.
The growing need to incorporate and exchange information across networks has driven corporations to establish infrastructure for high-distribution communities in a timely and safe manner. Network-centricity in general business operations assists in making any system’s business data available to all users at any time, subject to security and access controls.
The history of the term network-centricity has represented evolving perceptions in the realm of enterprise services. It has evolved from a resource-centric practice to a service-centric model. In traditional "Information Technology (IT)" domains, such as telecommunications, the network required a complex and expensive asset-management effort for each service carrier. Network operators were consistently challenged to manage these technologies and associated procedures that were continually changing. Efficiency of resource management via network-centricity has widely been regarded as a cornerstone of business assurance for these technologies. However, as network technologies become increasingly modularized and streamlined in design, the industry-wide shift is to a more complex paradigm -– one in which single providers are no longer capable of offering comprehensive product sets to satisfy every need for their target customers. In turn, this trend has driven service providers and network operators from resource-centric practice, toward a service-centric business paradigm. This resets their focus to "Quality of Service (QoS)" and service-level management.
The intent of this evolution is to improve the efficiency of value-chain model integration among enterprises. Greater cooperation between the enterprises allows them to leverage technology for product enrichment (through value-chain implementation), while reducing costs and risks with the relationship of destiny-sharing. In the context of service-provider operations, both network-centric and service-centric practices aim to support horizontal interoperability and efficiency. Another notable feature, from an implementation perspective, is that new systems only need to be developed when new information is required.
"Service-Oriented Enterprise (SOE)" is lauded as a mainstream business-information collaboration environment due to its decentralized, loosely coupled, and highly interoperable nature. Within the business and commercial paradigm, SOE translates to a set of flexible services and processes that an organization wishes to make available to its customers, partners, or associates. From the technical perspective, SOE involves using existing integration concepts with the notion of a contract –- a technology-neutral and business-specific representation of the function. Through SOE, composite applications can be created, modified, and removed for a dynamic use of services. This allows corporate information to be abstracted from existing applications and data, and creates new possibilities for assets to be either provided by external platforms or provisioned from external sources.
Adoption of SOE encourages enterprises to employ "Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)" as the underlying technology. As business operations begin moving away from the legacy flow-through process into an SOA-based flat and peer-to-peer framework, some weaknesses of pure SOA surface. For instance, some crucial business attributes and relationships were sacrificed for SOA transformation, and the new stateless paradigm requires intricate service designs to compensate for displaced hierarchical relationships. Additionally, while SOA has reached a certain level of maturity in most deployments, it remains in its nascent phase for wireless applications.
The vision of NCBO for the NCSOE is to foster an agile, robust, interoperable, and collaborative organization in which users share knowledge in a secure and dependable global network. NCBO is markedly different from a data-centric paradigm where data is centralized for access. It now allows geographically disparate enterprises to act as a seemless and cohesive team.
NCBO enables excellent decision making, effective operations, and efficient process transformation. The concept of network-centricity in this new context is no longer about telecommunications networks or computer networking; rather, it represents an emerging body of organized behaviors pertaining to real-time information management.
NCSOE Concepts and Technologies
An enterprise includes interdependent resources such as people, organization, process, and technology. The category of people is represented as an abstract collection of knowledge and expertise. They are further classified and allocated into different organizations depending upon business missions. The enterprise processes are business processes, products, applications, and data. The technology category includes software and hardware infrastructure which coordinate business functions and share information in support of a common mission or set of related missions.
To satisfy the enterprise customers and users, the technology resource should provide appropriate services to support business operations. A "service" is typically defined as a collection of interface contracts and contractually defined behaviors that can be provided by an enterprise resource for use by any of the enterprise resources. In the telecommunications and information services industries, enterprise services can be classified as a set of capabilities provided by a set of systems or utilities to their service consumers. Such service offerings may include telecommunications or network transport services, services that handle information resources including the storage, retrieval, manipulation and visualization specific to the resource, and management services including fault, configuration, accounting, performance, and security functionalities, as well as service lifecycle management, service instance management, and user life cycle management.
The infrastructure of network-centric transport services that distinguishes them from the traditional distributed environment are mobility, network awareness, situation reactivity, community autonomy, self-learning, service intelligence, temporal continuity, and management flexibility. Successful fulfillment can only be achieved through careful planning which lays down an organized and structured approach to ensure the deployed services are in functional consistency.
Network and Service Monitoring
Measuring performance of an enterprise network or service in an over-arching environment challenges the degree of accuracy and completeness of the managed services for better and faster awareness of end-to-end service performance. Until recent years, service monitoring played a passive business role in reporting and acknowledging service troubles. As service awareness enters a new era, when service providers not only tactically respond to problems but also strategically anticipate needs, service providers are no longer competing based upon a limited set of service parameters. It constitutes the management of diverse functionalities including fault, performance, accounting, testing, and security management.
ervice Quality Management
There are three aspects of QoS management: control, monitoring, and adjustment. QoS control includes planning and configuring performance attributes such as bandwidth, delay, loss, and traffic priority. An effective QoS planning and configuration function should include a policy registry and enforcement engine leveraging on open interfaces for policy descriptions. QoS policies dictate behaviors of the adjustment function. QoS monitoring works hand-in-hand with service monitoring functions to provide quality indicators of the managed services. The collected and organized indicators permit the adjustment function to arrange different amounts of traffic being injected into the network in accordance with QoS classes. The adjustment function drives vendor specific access facilities for access control in responding to policy rules.
Integrated Information Assurance
The essential functions of "information assurance (IA)" include the information operations that protect and defend information and information systems. The objectives of IA are to provide availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of corporate information. The process includes protection, detection, and reaction, as well as the capability to incorporate information restoration. From the user front, a common operation picture containing unified assurance indices to support cross-functional and aggregated effectiveness reports can be tailored to provide a higher degree of operational awareness. Its real-time business insights allow service consumers and operators to interactively acquire timely, conclusive, and secure business intelligence for enforced assurance and continuous improvement.
ervice Knowledge Management
The "detect-monitor-action (DMA)" model permits organizations to bridge the knowledge gap, realizes the critical cost, time, and benefits of the offering services and can achieve the economies of scale. The center piece of realizing the claimed values comes from service knowledge management. In a heterogeneous service operation where a value-chain is established upon inter-dependency of many different organizations, collaborated service agreements (SLAs) can be very sophisticated. Decision-making in a knowledge sharing environment will be heavily influenced by dynamic patterns of collaboration and associated with different levels of accountability.
ervice-Oriented System Infrastructure
Realizing the network-centric service-oriented architecture for an enterprise has both cultural and technical challenges. SOA is perceived as the ultimate framework of software technology that can accomplish complete service transformation in a diverse network environment. However, due to practical schedules and budget constraints, enterprises must deal with tremendous operational guidance that drives IT forces to integrate legacy systems with the new services and applications. A typical IT approach to the comprised method is to layer some business-relevant services on top of existing applications and promote interoperability of data management through standardization of data elements. This minimizes duplication across organizations. As a result, the abstraction process flattens service data and peer levels reveal SOA’s incapability to meet high-performance requirements and unexpected complexity to reproduce the legacy waterfall business process. Both drawbacks may make enterprise owners doubt the true values of the transformation.
The NCBO is an operational infrastructure that creates flexible, adaptable, and distributable computing environments that take the advantages of SOA with more focus on network-centricity. It includes a set of principles, patterns, and practices for creating service-oriented application functionality as shared, general-purpose, and network-centric.
The main business driver in the area of enterprise operations concerns business agility. "Operational agility" describes the requisite levels of speed, cost-effectiveness, accuracy, and flexibility for organizational prosperity. Managing this array of functions requires appropriate processes that connect consumers and providers of services in a cohesive fashion. NCSOE can maximize "Return of Investment (ROI)" for an enterprise, accommodating multiple perspectives and factors need to be considered.
Network-centric operations were devised by the military for the purpose of managing its battle power from a strong network of a well-informed but geographically dispersed forces. Based on a high-performance information grid, the
network-centric warfareconcept aims to provide applicability to all levels of warfare, contributing to the coalescence of strategy, operations, and tactics. The implementation of NCSOE can increase battle-space awareness and yield increased combat power.
In E-commerce applications, multi-channel capability refers to end-to-end customer support throughout the process, using different channels to achieve continuity. For example, a customer can visit different vendors to complete a holiday shopping list. Across these domain processes involves a number of fundamental acquisition and completion among the commodity services vendors which is coalesced via the NCSOE concept to enable seamless network-centric operations.
In the transaction-intensive retail sector, information superiority can be accomplished by combining information with retailing data to achieve precision retailing. For instance, a sensor can scan, collect, and share product information with suppliers in near real-time, enabling suppliers to optimize and control production and distribution, while appropriately managing their individual supply chains. The result are a significant reduction of distribution costs and high profitability.
In the financial service industry, traders can exploit their position of power by using information and information technologies to influence prices and delivery speed in trading objects. NCSOE can be used to perform transaction surveillances for financial companies which institute general operational requirements to avoid fraud by monitoring traders’ trading patterns.
The ability to share information in near real-time among all relevant departments can enable manufacturers to substitute information for inventory, simultaneously increasing flexibility and responsiveness. A direct benefit from speed of information sharing is a reduced cost of goods sold, because of lean inventory for parts and finished products. NCSOE provides a consistent and standardized view of production to avoid risk from large inventories (e.g., excess finished product, or obsolete/overpriced components). An improved ability to sense the product attributes that consumers want can contribute to the design of more-attractive products while serving to trim project-delivery timelines.
To increase in-transit traceability, the enterprise can integrate both sensing and transaction capabilities in supporting information networks. The sensing capabilities can generate near-real-time awareness on the precise status and locations of shipments. Such a high level of awareness can improve QoS, provide proactive status altering, identify sources of operational problems, and improve operational performance
Service-oriented architecture implementation framework
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