Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SOA and the Trough of Disillusionment

All the signs point to the fact that SOA has entered the trough of disillusionment. Why? I am seeing a lot of companies de-funding or stopping SOA efforts altogether. Many executives don't see the hype anymore and thus no longer understand the value of SOA. Many companies have tried SOA and failed, so they don't want to try it again. Plus, the economy is not helping. Budgets are getting slashed, jobs are lost, people are afraid to innovate. The first type of spending that companies cut is strategic. They want to get through the tough economic times with minimal required spending -- just to keep the lights on. Thus, SOA program funding gets cut and the executive support goes downhill with it.

What can we do to make sure that SOA moves onto the slope of enlightenment and further to the plateau of productivity? Continue to educate your organizations and executives about the value of SOA! Even though SOA is not in vogue anymore, it doesn’t mean that it lost its value. The benefits are still there. You just have to work harder to make them visible. Document your successes and shift into a marketing mode. Promote the SOA program and the benefits you achieved as much as possible. Show real value. This will certainly get executives’ attention and guarantee their support. Don’t give up. Continue to fight negative perceptions and concentrate on delivering value.

SOA, like any other enterprise wide initiative, is a differentiator. Companies that can successfully implement SOA will become a lot more successful than those that can’t. When the economic crisis ends, organizations that continued to invest into SOA will come out on top. Those that didn’t will be left behind and will need to spend a lot more money and efforts to catch up. SOA can produce tangible business benefits. Don’t let the disillusioned minority silence its value proposition.

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