Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Roundup: Cloudwatching, Cloudwashing, Cloudonomics, Gap-minding

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A few years ago, if you told someone you were going to spend three months watching the clouds, they may have looked at you kind of funny. These days, of course, cloudwatching is essential for understanding the seismic shift shaking up the IT world.

Brenda Michelson, as part of her 100-day commitment to cloudwatching, attended the recent Cloud Connect conference, and provides day-to-day accounts here, here, here, and here. She provides some great insights on "Cloudonomics" from a session hosted by AT&T's Joe Weinman, who noted that the true economic value comes from "hybrid use of public and private cloud, where the decisions to assign workloads to computing are optimized on business trends, infrastructure spend, and opportunity cost."

(Chandar Pattabhiram of Cast Iron Systems and I will be exploring these issues in the kick-off session on "The Economics of Cloud Computing" at the upcoming Cloud QCamp on April 7th. For anyone interested in service orientation, virtualization, and utility computing, this is not a conference to be missed.)

Dave Linthicum, in an extra provocative mood, said he stands by his declaration that cloud computing will put the kibosh on design-time governance, and surfaced two new terms to describe what vendors are up to these days: "cloudwashing" and "cloud-efying." Almost all of the SOA vendors, he says, "have 'cloud washed' their products and messaging to use 'Cloud.'

Kelly Emo, at the front lines of service orientation, provides her perspectives on service lifecycle management and governance, noting that a gap has long existed between development and operations, and this has hampered lifecycle management efforts. "IT operations should participate in the information sharing that results from the lifecycle handoffs from testing/staging to deployment," she says.

Pete Schooff has been hosting quite a discussion in the forum chat area on the difference between SOA success and failure. Brenda Michelson started off the discussion with a succinct "SOA that succeeds is business-driven!" Dr. Jerry Smith adds that SOA projects tend to abandon common-sense principles, and "for some unknown reason, those implementing a service-orientation in their solutions often leave behind the sound principles taught in school and reinforced in life."

Todd Biske took up the issue that SOA itself tends to be ill-defined, and thus, the expectations and goals are unclear: "You can ask, 'Did your SOA efforts meet or exceed your expectations and goals?' and you might get back 95% yes answers, but some people may dig deep and say, 'All you did was start using Web services where you previously did legacy screen scraping' or any of many other things that could raise doubt as to whether it was really SOA or not."

Readers, we know you have something you want to say about this. We urge you to join in on the discussion. If you are not a registered ebizQ member, you simply have to complete a quick online form with a few fields.

Finally, Janne Korhonen provided an interesting think piece on the power of mindsets, and how they shape corporate success. He also shares insights on how these mindsets are identified and nurtured. "Skills can be readily acquired, but belief systems are developing more slowly," he points out.

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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