Say It Again, Here's How to Make SOA Work

Ann All

So, your company is interested in service-oriented architecture? Here's a bit of advice: Make sure that possible executive sponsors understand it'sa journey, not a quick trip -- and one that will no doubt include some roadblocks along the way.


As we wrote last week, a Gartner analyst told Datamation that it's nearly impossible to assign a specific ROI to SOA. That's because SOA is always going to be part of a broader business initiative, not a standalone project. While it can help cut costs through reusing services, it's also about less tangible benefits such as boosting customer loyalty and facilitating moves into new markets.


Thankfully, its hard-to-nail-down nature hasn't discouraged companies from embarking on SOA initiatives. According to a recent CIO Insight survey, 79 percent of CIOs say their company's technology architecture will be based on service-oriented software, Web services and related technologies within five years.


With that in mind, we found this Baseline article, which includesfive key suggestions for SOA implementations, especially helpful.


An AMR Research analyst stresses the importance of conducting an "internal sales job" detailing SOA's benefits. That fits handily into recent opinions we've seen from others on the importance of the CIO's role as a technology educator -- and it's a step that we think too many tech execs tend to forget.


The other four tips: Prepare your staff for job changes and new roles like "service consumer" and "service librarian." Develop best practices, and preferably an integration/SOA competency center. Establish a governance structure to manage service reuse. And finally, where possible, measure results.


Again, we've seen many of these points -- such as the need for governance -- emphasized time and time again. You know what? That usually means they are important.

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