Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Companies that Need SOA the Most Are Least Likely to Implement It

My eyes were drawn today to an ITBusinessEdge post "Companies that Need SOA the Most Are Least Likely to Implement It". How could I resist that title? (That reminds me of a previous post of mine "Naming Well, an Essential Skill of an I/T Architect" but I degress.) That post in turn drove to yet another cleverly named post

Is SOA success in the genes? by ZDNet's Joe McKendrick -- Todd Biske recently responded to my post about Microsoft's recommended approach to SOA (inch by inch, it's a cinch; mile by mile, its a trial), and ponders whether some organizations can get SOA right away, but others will never get it. How do organizations end up with their IT out of synch with business [...]

The basic premise here is worth entertaining. Companies that already have good alignment of I/T and business, already have good governance in place, already think proactively and strategically about I/T, etc. will find moving to a Service Oriented Architecture just the next incremental step in their improvement process. For the other companies out there (the vast majority?), the gap between where they are today and SOA is an insurmountable chasm that they dare not even try to cross.

I think there is an element of truth. I've seen a lot of situations where a company could benefit from new approaches but because they organize a bunch of independently funded, tactical projects no one project can fund the leap to the next level of maturity and flexibility. (See also "The Scourge of the I/T Architect's Universe".) Just a couple of weeks ago an acquanitance of mine at a major manufacturer told me he was interested in using SOA software products for their EAI-like-middleware value but he didn't think his organization was ready to embrace SOA yet. I guess this is like "flying under the radar" to wait until the political situation is more receptive to SOA.

Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.

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