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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Walk, Don't Run, into SOA... But Do Walk the Walk

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A recent survey from Forrester finds eight out of ten financial services firms use SOA approaches today. Plus, they want more service orientation in their business systems, delivered at a faster pace. A team of Forrester analysts, Jost Hoppermann, Mike Gilpin and Sander Rose, just released details of the survey of 80 IT decision-makers, from financial services across the globe.

While SOA is a must-have approach within financial services firms that seek to get out ahead in a hyper-competitive, and now hyper-regulated market, Hoppermann and company caution that rushing too fast into SOA can backfire:

"Anecdotal evidence from a number of financial services firms Forrester has interviewed shows that just moving faster did not actually speed time-to-results -- whether an financial services firm tried to accelerate transforming a banking platform or establishing SOA. Quite the opposite: Insufficient preparation often caused significant delays."

Hoppermann advises businesses to do their homework to "avoid trading a quick start for months or even years of delay." They offer the following three pieces of advice:

1) Make a conscious choice whether to design the service landscape top-down or bottom-up.

2) Don't let your selection of a consulting or services firm predetermine your service landscape.

3) Ensure that the necessary SOA infrastructure is in place and supported with processes.

In other words, be sure that the business is driving the process, and that the IT department is not rushing into SOA for SOA's sake. Sound advice for anyone in any industry.


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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