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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA's New, Less Visible But More Pervasive Phase

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Loraine Lawson, whose writings and opinions I respect greatly, recently picked up on my ebizQ feature on the Nine Great Unsolved Mysteries of SOA, and observed that it's rare to see a dedicated piece on SOA anymore. Lately, it's more about initiatives that build on SOA, such as business analytics and cloud.

Loraine has a point, and it's something I've been observing in my work and pondering as well. There is, frankly, a lot less talk and debate about SOA and more talk and debate about newer topics.

Does this mean SOA has gone away?  Of course not -- no more than client/server and the Internet have gone away. These approaches simply have become so deeply baked into our operations that no one regards them as "special" any more. Likewise, SOA has become part of everything we do regarding business technology -- whether it's configured that way in a vendor product, or you have an architectural team that designs services, or if you rely on a cloud offering supported by SOA practices. 

It could even be argued that the Apple iTunes and App Store are good models for SOA within an enterprise, and that these entities themselves are SOAs. Then there's the emerging world of private cloud -- which is essentially SOA supported by virtualizaytion.  And, as Loraine points out, SOA handles integration much better than cloud does -- something to consider as we move our organizations to cloud-centric IT.

That doesn't mean the challenges have been addressed. IT and the business still need to work closely to design and support service orientation. Plus, many organizations are either not ready for the changes SOA will bring. There's plenty of work to be done.

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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