Where SOA Meets Cloud

David Linthicum

Is the Lack of SOA Talent Killing Cloud Computing?

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Most consider cloud computing to be this magical technology that will solve all of world's IT problems. The reality is that you're still doing computing. You're still storing stuff, still processing stuff, still placing information in databases. This means -- Dare I say it? -- you need to put some architectural forethought around cloud computing.

The lack of an architecture -- typically, the lack of a SOA -- is a recipe for failure in the world of cloud computing. An architecture provides the structure necessary to mesh your existing enterprise IT assets with the emerging world of cloud computing. Most who leverage clouds, PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS, understand the dilemma and quickly turn to basic architecture and planning...only to find that those 'in the know' are nowhere to be found.

Good SOA architects are a rare species. Many who claim to have mad SOA skills come up short. The trend is to leverage whatever the next magical and hyped technology is in the hopes that no one will notice that the existing architecture is a huge mess, and the addition of cloud computing resources will just make it messier.

Making matters worse are the numbers of SOA technology vendors who have falsely position their technology as "cloud computing technology," when they should be focused on SOA leading to successful cloud computing. There is a huge difference. This vendor hype has just added to confusion around both the concepts of cloud computing and SOA, and the end users are once again looking to toss technology at problems that really need better architectural thinking.

Clearly, we don't have enough SOA A list players to go around as cloud computing explodes.

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This blog is your first step toward understanding the issues you will face as cloud computing and SOA converge. The movement to cloud computing is a disruptive change that IT departments will soon face as SOA and cloud computing begin to have an effect on the modern enterprise. IT managers must learn how to give as well as take information in this new, shareable environment, while still protecting their company's interests. Innovative companies will take advantage of these new resources and reinvent themselves as unstoppable forces in their markets. Those who don't take advantage of this revolution will become quickly outdated, perhaps out of business.

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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