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By Sandy Carter
March 28, 2007
For every Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) success story, there lays an abandoned SOA project stuck in one of the various stages of deployment. Underscoring the successes and challenges of an SOA is the popularized theory that fifty percent of IT projects are deemed unsuccessful. This, of course, can make embarking on an SOA strategy rather intimidating.
Still, SOAs remain at the top of the executive and IT agenda based on their ability to more closely align technology with the needs of the business. Quickly dismantling the high statistics associated with IT project failures, SOAs have shown demonstrable ROI — so much so that the proven successes of SOAs have enabled this segment to swell to a worldwide market opportunity of $60.3 billion.
This growth is up by 75 percent compared to 2005 when the market was estimated at $34.6 billion. Moreover, the SOA market is expected to skyrocket with an anticipated 54 percent continued growth through 2008 to reach $143 billion (Gartner).
Furthering the growth of the SOA market is the strategy's ability to pay for itself quickly. In fact, the number of opportunities for quick return on investment can be surprising. For example, many organizations are unaware of the number of duplicate processes that occur in separate departments and applications — and how much these duplicate processes are costing them. When you examine the costs and lost revenue attributable to redundant function and duplicated effort, you begin to see the value of centralized services over having to manage multiple competing and overlapping functions.
Still, there are some watchers out there asking, 'How can SOA succeed where previous approaches have failed?' and 'How do I avoid becoming a statistic?'
These are powerful questions. Simply stated, a successful SOA strategy can be achieved because the standards, best practices, and governance models have finally matured to the point where reuse can actually work. After all, SOA is, by definition, an architecture as well as an approach to IT that can help solve immediate business challenges.
Although each company has different business needs and each industry faces its own set of challenges, there are common issues that can lead to the failure of an SOA if not successfully addressed. The ten most prevalent are:
So, if you've been hesitant to initiate an SOA project, make it a resolution for 2007 to better align your technology with the needs of the business and join the legions of developers driving revenue up and cost out of their companies. Follow these ten steps and you'll be on your way to success.
About the Author
Sandy Carter is the vice president for SOA and WebSphere strategy at IBM. As IBM VP, Sandy has worldwide responsibility for marketing, strategy, and channels. During Sandy's tenure, the WebSphere portfolio has grown 18% in 2005 over the prior year and is in its 26th consecutive quarter of growth. Her influence has significantly strengthened the WebSphere brand through IBM's acquisitions of Gluecode, Ascential, and DataPower Corporations, and she has led WebSphere to win seven industry awards.
Adapted from Developer.com