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ebizQ's Business Agility Watch

Elizabeth Book

Service-Averse Architecture: The 'Big Kahuna of IT Problems'

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Earlier today, I went to the SOA Exec Forum speakers' suite to say hi to David Linthicum. There also Eric Knorr, Executive Editor of InfoWorld, sitting with Anne Thomas Manes, Research Director of Burton Group, all got to talking with us about the current state of SOA adoption. They agreed with me that the current application frameworks of most companies is not Service-Oriented Architecture, but rather Service-Averse Architecture (SAA), a term I started throwing around yesterday on this blog.

It's so simple that even someone who doesn't know anything about IT can immediately grasp what we mean.

Thomas Manes, who is delivering the anxiously awaited 4pm InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum closing keynote, responded: "We have to ask people, what are the business processes in your organization that don't work very well? Where do people encounter problems in getting their work done? Once you know that, you can get an idea of what you should be working on," she said.

The root cause of most IT problems is redundancies, poor portfolio management and different formats of data, said Thomas Manes, "So you have to go back, look at your portfolio of applications, and then look at the cultural and organizational aspects of the business."

"This is the fundamental flaw in the way people build application systems. If you're not ready to address the organizational and cultural issues, don't pretend that you're doing SOA," said Thomas Manes.

"The status quo is Service-Averse Architecture," she said.

"That really is the big kahuna of all IT problems," said Knorr.

Joe McKendrick, SOA in Action blogger and an ebizQ contributing editor (and noted SOA rock star who regularly trashes rooms at the Roosevelt Hotel, I hear), then joined us in the speakers' suite and I brought him in on the action. He has agreed to join Anne Thomas Manes and myself on a podcast tomorrow to better define Service-Averse Architecture, which, when identified, could possibly provides us with some "anti-patterns," on the recommendation of Brenda Michelson, to avoid while building SOA.

I look forward to delivering that podcast to you on Friday.



So you have to go back, look at your portfolio of applications, and then look at the cultural and organizational aspects of the business.

... perhaps a more to-the-point TLA would be "Service-Averse Culture" :-) ...

My SOA anti-patterns comment was in thinking of the great piece Steve Jones wrote last summer.

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Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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