Who would have guessed that airlines would lead the way on SOA adoption?
OK, maybe some of you guessed. Personally, I hadn't even given it any thought.
ComputerWeekly.com recently published a feature article outlining how airlines are adopting SOA to integrate various applications and data in real time. The end goal, of course, is to give airlines a better response time to weather and other unforeseen events that play havoc with flight schedules and flyers' patience. And when you put it that way, it makes perfect sense that airlines would flock to SOA implementations.
As it turns out, some airlines have been using SOA-esque concepts for years now as a means of creating real-time communication between applications. So, SOA made sense to airlines as they faced mergers; increased online business; and competition from smaller, discount flight providers.
The article goes into some detail about solutions major airlines are using and how that's paying off for those companies. It also talks about a few implementation problems airlines have encountered.
Industry experts told ComputerWeekly that SOA is now the accepted method for linking existing applications. The payoff? Lower costs and better service. But as an Ovum principal analyst quoted in the article explains, airlines still aren't sure whether SOA can configure business processes as easily as it reconfigures applications.
Yeah. We're not sure either. But now that we all know the airline industry is testing how much value it can squeeze from SOA, hopefully there will be a lot of IT eyes on the skies in the months ahead.