Saturday, December 16, 2006

SOA means Business!

One of the major trends in IT these days is, as you would probably be aware, that of SOA ... Service-Oriented Architecture

I'm certainly no expert in this field, just an interested observer. Keeping my eyes open, yesterday I came across two interesting insights into the business aspects of SOA.
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Firstly, in a recent survey by GCR Custom Research (sponsored by BEA Systems) over 150 SOA decision-makers and influencers across North America and Europe were asked to give their input on SOA costs, and benefits. Below are some of the key findings:

  • The CIO is the main SOA sponsor and business-case approver
  • IT cost savings are the main driver of SOA adoption in Europe, while North America’s focus is on business agility
  • 22 percent of SOA funding comes from SOA money, while 59 percent?comes from business-solution money
  • Almost 40 percent of SOA projects are impeded due to difficulty with financial justification
  • The most significant cost in the business case is for software infrastructure
Secondly, at the CBDI Service Oriented Practice Portal there's an article by David Sprott titled Explaining SOA to the Business Audience where he makes the point (amongst other things) that:
Much has been said about the way SOA can deliver agility and I continue to observe comments that suggest everything can change constantly in an SOA. Frankly this is dangerous nonsense. In a large enterprise change needs to be controlled both from a technical and business perspective in order to manage quality and regulatory compliance. But what SOA does give us is an enhanced ability to cleanly separate the things that do need to change from the things that don’t.

As an outside observer, it seems to me that far too many discussions of SOA focus on the technical side, but business considerations such as those covered in the above two references need always to be kept foremost.

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