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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Forrester's Heffner: SOA is Delivering -- Big Time

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There's been plenty of debate over the past year about the success rate of SOA. Some leading analysts say that SOA is not delivering value as of yet. For example, after in-depth research, Anne Thomas Manes of Burton Group said earlier this year that examples of successful SOAs are few and far between, and that even when progress is made, things stall out.

However, in a new interview with ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff, Forrester's Randy Heffner takes a different view. Most large organizations and at least half of small to medium businesses have adopted SOA, and most are satisfied with their progress so far, he says. "For three years running, about 70% of current users have said they'll do more SOA and only one percent or two percent will cut back. You don't get a large consensus doing more of something unless it's working," he said.

(For a transcript of the discussion, click here. To listen to the audio podcast, click here.)

Heffner adds that not every service created for the SOA registry will deliver -- is meant to deliver -- direct value to the business. Some services have more local or tactical purposes. "Many in the industry have what I like to call a 'flat model of services.' To them, a service is a service, is a service. Just put them all in the registry for people to search on. But it's much better to realize that in terms a strategic business value, some services are better and more valuable than others."

Forrester's taxonomy for high-level taxonomy for services has three kinds of services, Heffner explains:

Infrastructure services are technical utilities functions;

Applications services deal with connecting siloed applications; and

Business services, which embody organizations, major business transactions, and capabilities. "They're things that business people care about as they design your business processes like submit orders, or convert accounts, or get customer history, or whatever it might be. A step in a business process, basically."

Heffner will be expounding on the link between SOA-based services and business value at ebizQ's upcoming SOA in Action virtual conference on November 19th.

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1 Comment

Randy presents SOA as a sure win. Is it?
See http://apsblog.burtongroup.com/2008/11/is-soa-a-sure-win.html to hear Burton Group's perspective.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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