SOA adoption: Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug

SearchSOA.com editor-in-chief Michael  Meehan blogs on recent Burton Group research on SOA adoption:

According to Burton Group vice president and research director Anne Thomas Manes, some users had executed nearly perfectly in terms of doing SOA on the IT side, but the initiative had yielded no increased agility, quicker time to market or project savings because the business remained completely oblivious to the initiative. Yet the study also found that users who do break down artificial corporate barriers, install proper governance and involve the business have runaway success stories to tell.

There's nothing really surprising about reports of trouble along the long and rocky path to SOA. That transformation, after all, involves more than technology, as the quote above indicates. But with regard to the failures, what, actually, has failed?  (And if you're experiencing a little déjà vu, it's because I posed this question in a previous life.)

Meehan's post includes a quote from Burton's Anne Thomas Manes, in which she observes that many of the failed initiatives focused on a single integration issue, followed the infamous JBOWS model (Just a Bunch Of Web Services), and relied on services that were designed with no consideration of reusability. Which means that these initiatives had as much to do with SOA as "America's Got Talent" has to do with talent. That's not the failure of SOA,  that's a failed attempt at SOA. Whatever comes out of that kind of effort isn't service-oriented, and it certainly isn't architecture.  Splat!

 

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