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Sam Lowe's blog on Enterprise IT

Friday, August 05, 2005

Being a Little More Circumspect about Services Dogma

I was talking with one of my colleagues recently about SOA hype. His view was that there are too many Enterprise IT people out there that are preaching SOA as if it's a lesson for business. They speak as if they've discovered something that business people have never thought of, and that if business people just listen to them then ...

His point was good, that this is not helpful. I'm sure some EA-people will disagree with me on this, but Enterprise Architecture is largely about better arranging IT in relation to the business and its demands. The Service-Oriented approach to Architecture is about designing, constructing, and delivering IT using approaches that are aligned to those business uses rather than seperate and requiring translation at every turn. So IT preaching to business about the value of services runs a real risk of being the cart leading the horse.

This was obviously a bit of a pet topic of this colleague of mine, because he went on to talk about how some of the hyped benefits of SOA are also not helpful. Talk of increased agility is confusing at best, but suggesting that business processes will be changed on the fly, and business models will be dynamic and ever-changing, is just down-right scary to many business. Let alone being impractical and unrealistic.

The enthusiasm around SOA is good to see, but we've got to keep it real, because if the case is over-made or inappropriately-made, then it's all too likely that credibility will be lost, and expectations missed.

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  • I fully agree with your comments: SOA is overhyped, like all "the next big thing" that happened before (DW, 3tier, .NET etc.)... What do you think will survive in the real-world-SOA five years ahead?

    By Blogger dmdagnone, at 9:40 pm  

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