We hear it all the time: IT folks need to do a better job of "selling" technology by conveying its business benefits. Without this edification, business types see technology as a cost to be contained rather than an enabler of business strategy.
Could there be a role reversal in play when it comes to service-oriented architecture? Some observers think so. ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick points to commentary from analyst firm ZapThink that posits that business executives are already sold on SOA -- but their IT departments are not.
In essence, ZapThink analyst Ron Schmelzer insists that IT can't see the SOA forest for all of the technology trees. SOA's emphasis on loose coupling and reusable services takes IT out of their comfort zone and puts them in largely uncharted territory. It also calls for skills in areas like budgeting and governance, skills that IT may lack.
McKendrick also points to a blog by SOA expert Todd Biske, who opines that there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to failed SOA initiatives. The bigger issue is likely that old bane of companies everywhere: a lack of alignment between IT and the business.
Companies must realize this, and work to fix what is, at heart, a cultural issue before they can hope to be successful with SOA.