20 September, 2006

Do you really need SOA? And if yes…why?

Many companies are told by either vendors or institutions such as Gartner, Forrester and others, than SOA should bring some of the following benefits:

- Alignment with the company’s Business Model and Strategy
- Enable business changes, technologically based business opportunities
- Improved interoperability and integration
- Enabled agility
- Reduced costs
- Better assets utilization
- Reduced time to market

Now when you look at SOA projects in some companies, very often they run some sort of submarine programs. In other words, because of the difficulty to sell to the business such technological projects, these projects are considered as foundation for future business projects and are done in the shade. ROI on SOA then becomes potentially measurable after a first business project and users are rarely aware that the underlying architecture has fundamentally changed.

But why is an IT department considering going for SOA? Agility…yeahhh for sure..But why? It appears to me that very rarely SOA is based on a real case study.

I have identified several types of reasons why we should go for SOA:

- A BPM program or initiative has been identified
- There is a need to build new composite applications in an easy way
- A company’s portal needs to integrate easily new applications, portlets, or services
- There is a need to migrate old applications (e.g. traditional Client server applications) to new layered and modern applications
- To provide integration between companies (B2B)
- Others?

Some companies have SOA programs in place…but are they able to justify the investment if none of these requirements have been documented?


Omar Figueroa said...

Hey Serge, I am currently on a project deciding whether they should go with so or just use regular web services through TIBCO. Can you give me some opinion between this two?

Serge Thorn said...

Hi Omar,
If I understand correctly you are wondering if you have to launch an SOA program looking at all aspects and all stakeholders (Business and IT) or use TIBCO as an EAI solution integrating existing platorm, much more an integration project? Can you clarify what is your project all about, the level of maturity of your company, the level of understanding what SOA is all about (an architectural style and not a technical implementation)?
Many thanks