By Carol Baroudi and Dr. Fern Halper, Partners
In September and October 2006, Hurwitz & Associates surveyed ninety-nine IT executives from companies in North America and the UK with a size of greater than 250 employees who had expressed an interest in SOA or web services. This independent research and analysis was sponsored by Mindreef, Inc., a provider of solutions that enable business analysts, architects, application developers, testers, operations, and support staff to build, deploy, and maintain software for service-oriented architectures. The full report is available from Mindreef, but we’d like to highlight a few of our findings.
The Hurwitz & Associates survey determined the top drivers for SOA adoption include the expectation of greater reuse of existing and newly-built software, business flexibility, ease of integration and speed of integration. While reuse is a top driver for SOA, almost half of the respondents stated that a lack of planning and establishment of clear business goals have hampered their ability to reuse business services broadly across their organizations. Companies have also experienced problems because of the lack of a SOA governance process to formalize business rules and ensure internal standards.
At the heart of reuse is the registry and repository. Hurwitz & Associates was disconcerted by the nearly 50% of survey respondents that say they have no registry or repository solution in place or were using some sort of in-house solution. We feel strongly that for SOA longevity and scalability organizations need to formalize the organization of their services and believe that they should look for a standards-base product to provide these functions.
The deployment of SOA reminds us of the early years of ecommerce deployment. Early adopters had to build ecommerce components because none existed to acquire, but the company today that insists on building its own commerce engine is spending time, energy and focus on the wrong thing. We believe that companies need to pick a reliable standards-based registry/repository solution and let their vendor do the inevitable incremental development that will be required as SOA matures. Focus on your own SOA, creating your own services, running your own business. SOA is too big and too important for implementers to get caught in creating infrastructure.
Hurwitz & Associates has been watching SOA mature and come to the fore as the primary architectural paradigm for business computing. You can download the complete report and further analysis from www.mindreef.com/report.