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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

SOA Promise & Adoption : A Reality Check

SOA as a management discipline,is yet to be realized, says saugatuck in their new research finding- SOA Reality Check : Three Waves Of Adoption through 2012“.

Saugatuck has come with a lovely report on the state of the SOA adoption and the direction in which it is evolving, based on detailed survey & discussions. Confirming the view that SOA is experiencing slow, but steady, adoption among large and mid-sized enterprises, it finds that SOA is still in very early deployment cycles. The report based on extensive structured survey finds that the early implementers of SOA are primarily taking a technology-led approach to SOA deployment as against the widely held belief that many early adopters were viewing SOA as needing to be a business-led initiative and many initiatives are at early planning stage or at trial deployment around legacy application integration. This is surprising as it goes against the grain of the expectations of SOA deployments. After all SOA’s promise is to provide organizations with improved ability to execute and manage business in a flexible & agile manner at reduced costs.

How come one of the most talked about tech wave failing to reach maturity of adoption? The reality is that many believe that SOA will not reach its full potential to transform businesses. Governance, resource management & funding models all have to change contends this well researched report to change the prevailing sentiments. Saugatuck has summarized the impact of these drivers and inhibitors, which shows a typical SOA adoption framework constructed around three "waves" of activity.
- Wave I: Departmental initiatives, Project-based
- Wave II: Cross-departmental initiatives, Process-based
- Wave III: Enterprise-wide initiatives, Program-based

The timing and duration of each wave varies by user enterprise, but the waves themselves are clearly evident in each enterprise claims the report. The net result of this three-wave trend is that SOA adoption is best accomplished through a series of planned and governed escalating activities, each of which yields technology, knowledge and skills that enable further progress, and new challenges in ascending to the next wave. Success in SOA passes through the gate of governance.Every enterprise looking at SOA needs to understand this framework and calibrate their present and future SOA centric initiatives.

The report hits the nail on its head, when it summarizes that the real benefits of SOA are unlikely to be realized unless:
- Users are willing to take on the serious challenges of implementing SOA as a
wholesale change in the way business units work together and develop systems,
- Vendors do a better job matching their rhetoric and roadmaps to users’ short-term
goals, rather than to the grandiose, longer-term goal of improving business agility

Saugatuck research are becoming the CIO’s best friends and this report is no exception –in fact this addresses the issues and opportunities centered around one of the most promising technology advancement. Order the report here.

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