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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Forrester: Current Use Of SOA Advances 27% Among Enterprises, 45% Among SMBs

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Many thought the crumbling economy of 2008-09 would kill off service oriented architecture.

But it only made it stronger.

A new survey of more than 2,100 companies from Forrester finds the opposite seems to have happened -- SOA continued to grow in spite of tough times, or even because of tough times.

"Service-oriented architecture continues to find a welcome home in both enterprises and SMBs," says a team of Forrester analysts, led by Randy Heffner. "Even during the Great Recession, all sizes of organizations moved ahead in their adoption of SOA."

Forrester found that 84 percent of Global 2000 enterprises report they are using SOA now or will be by the end of this year. And satisfaction runs high among this group -- "more than 70 percent of SOA users say it has delivered enough benefit to expand its use."

In addition, as found in previous Forrester studies, only about one to three percent report of the 900 companies with SOA efforts say they actually cut back or abandoned SOA

Comparing survey results from Q4 2008 and Q4 2009, Forrester says that those currently using SOA plus those planning to use SOA within 12 months advanced from 62 percent to 68 percent -- an increase of 10 percent.

Even small to medium-size businesses are getting in the act -- their adoption grew by 29 percent, growing from 34 percent to 44 percent.

Heffner and Company even offer some succinct words of advice about SOA:

  • "Treat SOA as a business design concept."
  • "Use lightweight strategy to guide delivery of today's business benefits (street-level strategy)."
  • "Do integrated, simultaneous design of both business and technology (concurrent business engineering)."
  • "Use a coherent business service portfolio management process to drive reuse."
  • "Approach all aspects of SOA maturity with an evolutionary mindset and strategy."
  • "Have a variety of strategic and tactical investment approaches for SOA."


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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