In any large enterprise, there are a number of roles that people have to play in order to successfully deliver any business application. It is these key individuals that have to understand what their role is in successfully delivering a SOA. The following is a list of roles and their key tasks.
Business Analyst: The business analyst plays a critical role in the identification of reusable business processes. Those processes are often ideal candidates for a service-oriented approach. The business analyst also is typically responsible for identifying potential improvements in the existing business processes and eventually envisioning a solution that can leverage service orientation when it makes sense.
Enterprise Architect: The enterprise architect in a company is responsible for determining what the best approaches are for enabling service orientation in an enterprise. This includes best practices for interoperability, deployment, and versioning. The enterprise architect will also be the key person identifying opportunities within the enterprise for service orientation.
Developers: Developers are responsible for delivering services that can be easily understood and extended. Developers are responsible for API documentation, service development and testing, and often deployment.
Quality Assurance Professionals: A QA engineer in a company that is attempting to deliver service-oriented applications plays a pivotal role. This role will ensure that those reusable services that are being delivered go through a very rigorous testing cycle. If this role is not a focus, then companies risk losing confidence in the services that are meant to become core components of all future applications.
Application Support Professionals: Understanding the role of services in an enterprise is very important for people who will support applications once they are deployed to a production environment. These roles will also help to drive confidence in the enterprise SOA when a comfort level is reached for troubleshooting and correcting issues as they arise.
Project Managers / Business Sponsors: If you are a person in your company who is responsible for the bottom line, it is important that you understand the immediate costs of service orientation. It is also important to understand the potential long-term goals and benefits.
The above roles will be referenced in a couple of different sections in this article. These are not meant to be an all inclusive set of enterprise roles but, I hope they represent a large majority of the players in delivering services in enterprises today.