Enterprise Portal Rationalization: Using a Service-Oriented Architecture to Stop Web Asset Sprawl
Many IT organizations today are struggling under the burden of Web sprawl. Disparate ebusiness initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, and a rapidly consolidating software industry have combined to create complex and heterogeneous Web environments that are enormously costly to manage. Too much time and effort are spent maintaining and upgrading disparate sites and architectures, while too little is invested in new initiatives. Security and user management is inefficient, and often must be re-architected for each new application. New projects end up requiring duplicative development, as heterogeneity prevents re-use or requires extensive custom integration of existing systems. What few new assets do manage to get developed end up undersubscribed, as users find themselves overwhelmed by a vast number of sites, portals, and services. Bogged down in the sprawl, many IT managers find it impossible to get a panoptic view of what is going on in the business, and struggle to meet the ever-more-quickly evolving needs of customers, partners, and employees. This paper provides an overview of the problem of Web sprawl, and an account of the rationalization strategies organizations are adopting to gain the upper hand on sprawl. Adopting a service-oriented architecture based on integrated application platform infrastructure emerges as the key to rationalizing sprawl.