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SOA, What is it Good For?

As Enterprises appear to be moving into more significant deployments. The Yankee Group predicted that this year planned use of SOA in 2006 will reach saturation for wireless (93 percent), retail (92 percent), financial (89 percent), manufacturing (76 percent) and government (75 percent). The report indicated that 2006 will be the year of initial SOA project completion on a broad basis -- not a hit or miss trend, but through a rising tide of broad and deep adoption of SOA across the market.

These predictions were based on The Yankee Group US Enterprise SOA Survey (from 2005, last year) polled more than 300 IT decision-makers from SMBs and large U.S. enterprises.

Other research seems to show that broad and deep adoption may be harder than some expected--but that business aren't giving up on the effort. Information Week conducted a research project involving a web survey of 273 business technology professional last month. 24% of respondents using SOA and Web services say the projects fell short of expectations. Of those, 55% say SOA projects introduced more complexity into their IT environments, and 41% say they cost more than expected. Out of all respondents using SOAs and Web services, just 7% say the results exceeded expectations. 

Despite these struggles, SOA seems to be a significant committment for these organizations. The Information Week survey shows that two out of three of the companies currently engaged in SOA expect their spending on it to increase over the coming year. The survey says that nearly half (45%) of survey respondents rate SOA projects as "very important to their companies' business goals."

During times when the going gets tough, it's important to ask why organizations are committed to SOA in the first place. 72% of the respondents in the information week survey indicated "Increased flexibility in application development". 61% indicated "Ability to create service-oriented business apps faster" and 58% indicated Increased software modularity. A surprising 55% indicated "Better integration with business partners."


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