Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Service Factory as a Service (SFaaS)

A strategic approach to support enterprise transformation for digital business

The service factory concept has been in vogue for some time. As long ago as July 1989 the Harvard Business Review published a seminal article by Chase and Garvin titled The Service Factory[i]. They argued that "The factory of the future is not a place where computers, robots, and flexible machines do the drudge work . . . the next generation, then, will compete by bundling services with products, anticipating and responding to a truly comprehensive range of customer needs."

SF as a Black Box

In this paper we explore the concept of the Service Factory as a Service (SFaaS) which provisions software services delivered on-demand using the SaaS (Software as a Service) model. As Chase and Garvin envisaged, the Service Factory as a Service is a combination of technology products that deliver very high quality and productivity, combined with professional services that integrate the factory inputs and outputs into the digital business solution delivery process.

The service factory is a specialization of a generic software factory concept described by Greenfield and Short et al  in 2004. Both software and service factory concepts are based on the principle that the inputs and deliverables of the design and development tasks can be predetermined and defined as a schema - a detailed representation of the information that is created and managed in the development process. Further that the execution of each task may be automated to a greater or lesser extent by applying configurable patterns that facilitate transformations, such as models to code, with minimum human intervention. As might be expected, the internals of a factory are therefore specialized. They use technologies and techniques that the average solution developer would not need to be familiar with. In fact the principle of the factory, as illustrated in the Figure above is that it is operated as a black box and for a given specification input, deployable services are output.

Concept

Chase and Garvin indicated that the factory of the future would anticipate and respond to a comprehensive range of customer needs. The base factory schema provides the development framework that is designed to meet generic types of demand. In the case of the service factory this may be types of software services, such as channel, process, core business and underlying services for publication using popular service protocols such as REST and SOAP, and deployment to specific target platforms such as Java. The factory is effectively a collection of framework assets including patterns, tools, processes, skills and resources, as well as reusable artifacts that enable the quality and productivity outcomes. The factory schema may then be configured for specific customers to deliver variant types of service, pattern, protocol or target platform. Service delivery then uses the configured schema to deliver software services together with specifications, test harnesses and documentation.

There are several examples of software factory frameworks available in the marketplace. These are intended as accelerators for end user or service provider enterprises to create their own software factory. The real breakthrough, however, is to establish a type of software factory which is purpose-designed for software services, and to make this available on-demand as a comprehensive service factory as envisaged by Chase and Garvin.

The Figure below illustrates the "as a Service" aspect of the Everware-CBDI Service Factory, providing on demand provisioning of software services to conventional, in-house and outsourced solution delivery processes. The service provisioning value chain of specification, automation and completion interacts with the solution delivery streams using purpose designed portals and APIs that coordinate the exchange of requirements and deliverables.  Professional services support the set-up and smooth running of the factory interface. Set-up activities will usually establish the customer relationships and process interactions with the service factory provider or, for larger programs or enterprises, the establishment of an in-house service factory. The architecture, service specification and design and integration support professional services are provided to guide the client in achieving high quality outcomes from the process as well as providing skills transfer, facilitation and mentoring as appropriate.

SFaaS

The full version of this paper is available at agileservicefactory.com


[i] The Service Factory, Chase, Garvin, Harvard Business Review, July 1989

More Stories By David Sprott

David Sprott is a consultant, researcher and educator specializing in service oriented architecture, application modernization and cloud computing. Since 1997 David founded and led the well known think tank CBDI Forum providing unique research and guidance around loose coupled architecture, technologies and practices to F5000 companies and governments worldwide. As CEO of Everware-CBDI International a UK based corporation, he directs the global research and international consulting operations of the leading independent advisors on Service Oriented Application Modernization.

Latest Stories
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...