Two recent posts by ZDNet SOA blogger Joe McKendrick present a kind of good news/bad news scenario for IT architects and those who aspire to that role.
In a Sept 29th post, McKendrick discussed a recent report by Forrester’s Marc Cecere that found that the current economic downturn could trigger an increased demand for those with architecture skills and experience.
In a Sept 18th post, McKendrick reported on a conversation with IT consultant David Foote, who observed that most companies he has talked to need to quintuple the number of architects already on the payroll. But we're not talking about just any architects. According to McKendrick:
There are several different levels of SOA architects — from more technical and integration focused to more business savvy. Organizations need architects that fall somewhere in between, according to Foote. This is a point I’ve heard from many other sources as well. For example, this was the hottest point of discussion at this summer’s Open Group enterprise architect confab — that businesses need talented managers who can speak both the languages of the business and IT.
That's the good news part. The bad news part, as McKendrick explains, is that while the economic downturn makes the potential ROI from SOA even more attractive, the resulting constriction of already tight budgets could put SOA initiatives on hold, or at least put available architects in the position of having to do even more with even less.
Delayed SOA initiatives can be a bad thing all around. But asking architects to do more with less is pretty much the definition of job security, and that's not a bad thing these days.