SOA: More relevant than ever

Saurabh Sharma/Ovum
20 Jul 2012

The state of service-oriented architecture (SOA) adoption has been a highly debated topic, and these discussions have thrown up apparently contradictory viewpoints. While some industry pundits claimed its death in early 2009 and later changed their stance, others who were confident of the business value of SOA, later labeled it as an overhyped architectural approach. Given its potential benefits, such as easier application integration, lower development costs, business agility, better application functionality, and greater infrastructure manageability, SOA is now more relevant than ever.

Organizations want IT to deliver desired functionality and capabilities in the most cost-effective and time-efficient way. For this reason, IT management is looking for suitable solutions that are capable of enabling greater IT flexibility and delivering necessary cost benefits. The SOA and cloud combination is well suited to these requirements.

Enterprise interest in SOA is very much intact

SOA hype has definitely diminished and there is no reason why this should not have happened. Over the years, SOA has expanded into the mainstream and many enterprises have achieved success with SOA-related initiatives. In fact, given the ever-increasing needs of achieving greater IT flexibility and agility, SOA has become more relevant than ever. One might wonder why SOA was “declared dead” when it was actually gaining ground behind the scenes.

Ovum’s Technology Trends Survey for SOA adoption shows an upward movement for H1 2009 and H2 2009, roughly around the same time when the “SOA is dead” vibe was at its peak. Most of the criticism was misleading, and early SOA failures did not hinder subsequent SOA adoption. In fact, these failures forced organizations to rethink their SOA strategy.

Enterprises are more than willing to invest in architectural approaches that deliver long-term benefits and support business needs as and when they arise. SOA enables a smooth flow of data between disparate applications and ensures faster development of business processes by the reuse of existing services and other IT assets. This is a tremendous advantage and enterprises do notice the business value of SOA in endeavors such as these.

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