David Raab and Kathy Campbell of CRM Buyer provided a brilliant insight in a recent article on choosing a CRM system: "Projects like this almost always originate with a very specific business problem." While their point was related to CRM, it's equally valid for SOA, where this problem-oriented approach can be a problem in itself.
When teams start off with a very specific objective, they may understandably overlook larger, long-term issues. In the case of SOAs, one of those issues is how services, once created, will get reused.
Vendors are supplying plenty of technology to support reuse within SOAs. Arguably, the most important of these are registries, which allow developers to look up what services are available, and repositories, where the actual services reside. But, as Martin Percival of BEA puts it, "The need for a repository is, perhaps, not so clear to start with." Right, because everybody's focusing on solving one particular problem.
The bottom line here is that technology, while significant, is not enough. In addition to registries and repositories (and a lot more), companies need to create an environment where everybody involved is encouraged to collaborate, or at least keep in touch. That's the real key to reuse.