Setting the stage for the event was Anne Thomas Manes of Burton Group, who declared in a post at the beginning of the year that "SOA" -- at least as we knew it -- was "dead." However, the second part of Anne's post was "Long Live Services," which is the theme that she picked up on in her keynote address.
"Business wasn't really interested in buying something called 'SOA," she declared, adding that in her own research, fewer than 10% of companies have seen significant business value in their efforts.
However, that is not to diminish the importance of service oriented architecture. "We should be service orienting everything we do," she says. What's getting in the way is the feeling that an "SOA program" needs to be launched to get there, she states. "We have an opportunity at this point to resurrect SOA. We need a different approach, one based on architectural principles."
Anne also observed that current cloud computing initiatives bear a striking resemblance to SOA efforts. "All the discussions I hear about cloud are the same discussions we had about cloud four to five years ago," she says. "How are applications in the cloud going to talk to the applications back home without intrinsic interoperability?"
I had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion later in the day in which Anne further elaborated on her thinking. Essentially, she still holds fast to the points she made in the January blog. She emphasized her point that both end-user organizations and vendors are still too wrapped up in the idea of delivering some type of "SOA" package, versus delivering agility and flexibility.
I will also be joining a host of industry experts and practitioners to discuss the "New SOA" -- more business-savvy, more business driven -- in next week's two-day SOA in Action conference here at the ebizQ site (October 28-29).