On one of his latest posts here at ebizQ, Dave Linthicum asks the question: "Is Lack of SOA Talent Killing Cloud Computing?"
Dave is one of the few voices out there that has made the definitive connection between SOA and cloud computing. They are part of the same thing!
To make cloud work in an enterprise, you need architecture, simple as that. As Dave says it, "you need to put some architectural forethought around cloud computing. The lack of an architecture -- typically, the lack of a SOA -- is a recipe for failure in the world of cloud computing."
Web services were the hot item ten years ago, but no enterprise ever succeeded just allowing for Web services deployments in willy-nilly fashion. It would have been like attempting a data storage strategy with just a bunch of disks, with no planning or forethought as to what gets stored where, and who buys what kinds of disk storage devices. From the JBODS (Just a Bunch of Disks) example of poor planning I came up with a parallel example back in 2005 -- JBOWS, or Just a Bunch of Web Services.
Now we are going down a route in which we're promoting cloud services -- again, being brought into or created within enterprises in willy-nilly fashion.
Haven't all the lessons gained from years of discussion and trial-and-error around service governance and orchestration as part of SOA sunk in? There are plenty of best practices now in place.
Ultimately, to be successful with a cloud strategy, it's going to take service orientation. And if an organization doesn't have the hang of service orientation yet, it's not going to do very well with cloud computing.
A company that has done it's homework and understands the tenets of SOA will be able to quite seamlessly and elegantly move to the cloud. Because it's already there.