SOA Maturity: What's It Take to Get There?

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If only there were a way to determine what kind of challenges you might encounter at each stage of your SOA implementation. You know, a sort of SOA maturity model.


As it just so happens, there is.


Steve Bennett is the Americas SOA Practice Lead for BEA Systems, which is better known for its BPM software but also offers SOA-based services. Bennett is blogging at Dev2Dev about his SOA maturity model, which he created after querying BEA customers about their SOA implementations and the challenges they encountered. He mapped those challenges to the SOA adoption curve. The result is you can see what issues typically arise at which stages of adopting SOA.


But these are not just any challenges -- these are challenges that can derail your SOA implementation, according to Bennett. For instance, early adopters have experienced success with SOA and a project-by-project basis within the lines of business. But as they roll out SOA to the entire organization, they're not seeing the same level of benefits, Bennett notes. And they will not until they adopt an SOA governance model and address the cultural and political changes caused by SOA.


His recommendations for other levels of adopters aren't quite as specific as the early adopters example. But what he's offering here is not a prediction of "typical technology problems." Instead, he's going for something much harder to identify and address: The thought and practice "traps" within an IT organization that can derail your efforts to build an enterprise-wide service-oriented architecture.


He promises that in his next post, he'll talk more about the individual parts of his SOA maturity model and explain how you can address the challenges.


For another view on SOA maturity and the factors that contribute to long-term success, check out our April Q&A with IBM's Sandy Carter.