I'm at the Global Integration Summit in Boston, and I finally have wifi in the conference rooms. The session I'm in right now is a pre-announcement of the launch of a SOA Alliance organization. This organization will be part of the Integration Consortium.
The exciting news is the SOA Alliance is "founded, driven and measured by a practitioner community". While no names were shared - there are 20 "house hold name" end-user companies signed up. The group wants to quash the SOA hype, and work together to derive business and IT value.
Some of the group's goals are:
- Get agreement on terminology for discussing SOA.
- Influence and deliver requirements to Standards Organizations and Vendors
- Provide education and rich understanding:
- Articulate & Promote Business Value
- Capture & Disseminate Success Stories, Best/Worst Practices
- Offer templates, tool and methodology to ensure investment success
I'm really glad to see this. In my Observations from the Field: SOA report I published with PSG at the beginning of May, I not only wrote about The hard part of SOA, but also The SOA Hype. Here's that excerpt:
The SOA Hype
It's no surprise that enterprises are tired of the SOA hype. Enterprises want real numbers on SOA adoption. No one cares how many enterprises have a Web service or two in their portfolios. What people want to know is what percentage of an enterprise's portfolio is service-oriented? Of that percentage, how much is composed of services, and how much is service enabled (exposed for consumption as a service)? With that, people want to know how much of the enterprise's portfolio is planned to be service-oriented? All of it? Or a portion?
Enterprises are also keenly interested in case studies. The case studies should include the business problem being solved, the solution, and metrics on investment, return, quality, and productivity.
What is surprising, to us anyway, is that vendors are also tired of the SOA hype. More than one vendor has mentioned to us recently, they look forward to the hype dying down, and real work being undertaken.
SHARE STORIES. So, here's our suggestion. If you are an enterprise considering or pursuing SOA, share your numbers and stories in peer communities. If you are a vendor, feature real customer stories, connect prospects with practitioners, and clear a path for real communication. As for our part, we will continue to report information from the field, and would be happy to relate an enterprise's SOA story.