Not your father’s SOA

Every major software vendor– and even some minor ones– have hit the ground running in 2008 with new products, services and strategies to help companies begin or continue their transformation to a service-oriented architecture (SOA). But unlike years past when the sales pitches were almost universally tailored for the software architects, the IBMs, HPs and CAs of the world are turning their attention to quality assurance and operations guys who are responsible for making something good come of it all.

Governance will become an increasingly larger part of the discussion as Global 2000 companies slowly but surely embrace bits and pieces of a SOA that make sense. It’s not about the technology– though the integration software and middleware are important. It’s about people. It’s about figuring out the business processes and applications that are best used, shared and amended as services. And getting to that point requires substantial upfront investment– not in new software or pricey consulting fees– but of intellectual capital from representatives of multiple businesses units spanning the entire corporate hierarchy.

With the macroeconomic climate, particularly in the U.S., so gloomy, getting executive buy-in for any wide-ranging, multi-million-dollar IT project is dicey at best regardless of the presumed or likely benefits that a SOA might provide.


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