The leaders of SOA must understand both business and technology deeply says Kevin McKean, CEO and editorial director of InfoWorld.Excerpts with edits and comments:
First, SOA is fast becoming vital to the enterprise not just because it gives insight into the right way to approach IT - platform independence, reusable code, and so on - but because it furthers the ongoing "business-ification" of IT.For most companies today, IT doesn't just serve the business, IT is the business besides eBay and Amazon - from giant shipping companies to financial institutions to military and governmental agencies, IT is the nervous system that permits the organism to function. SOA permits the rapid realignment of that nervous system to suit the organism's needs without limiting its ability to change again tomorrow as the economy and competitive environment evolve.
- Second, the most intractable obstacles to SOA tend to be human, not technical. The technical obstacles are plenty difficult - breaking enterprise functions into logically derived "services," abstracting communication and security protocols, and so forth. But technical problems tend to be solvable, whereas human problems - who own the data, who foots the bill - may prove insurmountable.
- Third, SOA is better implemented by experts. The field is evolving rapidly, and those who've implemented SOA successfully have usually had lots of advice from experienced peers, consultants, and/or vendors. InfoWorld survey reveals prior experience turned out to be the No. 1 most sought-after quality in a partner, ahead of other important factors such as reputation, resources, and a proven methodology for a successful SOA deployment.
- Finally, the leaders of the SOA revolution will be neither businesspeople with a superficial knowledge of IT nor technologists who have a passing acquaintance with business but will be people who understand both aspects deeply.. SOA deployment are huge exercises, if impleented in the right spirit. Like any other enteprise initiative, SOA deployment needs careful planning, deep collaboration, lots and lots of change management and a measurable objectives with well defined checkpoints identified in between are essential in any SOA deployment engagement.