IBM's Kyle Brown recently pointed out that successful private cloud implementations have the service oriented architecture philosophy at their heart. That is, don't build it before they come. That's a lesson that's been learned over and over as organizations sought to service-orient their systems. "Address a real need, rather than a theoretical one."
Before you allow yourself to get buried in cloud, it's important to remember other key lessons learned in the SOA world. Peat Bakke does a good job of reviewing what it means to move to service oriented architecture in a recent Quora post:
1) "Protocols are more important than languages or frameworks." Service oriented means being open to any type of technology underneath.
2) "Understand what needs to happen in real time vs. in the background." Some services need to be highly available. As Bakke puts it, "having a good understanding of synchronous and asynchronous requirements is critical to successful SOA. You'll probably have to deal with both, whether your like it or not."
3) "Think horizontally, not vertically." The goal is to do away with the stovepipes. It's always about the business.
4) "Measure, measure, measure." Before you begin, you need to know what the orginal state of things was -- and be able to report the differences as cloud/SOA commences.
5) "Organize people around services." Well said. Successful service-oriented projects have moved businesses away from being organized around product lines or stovepiped applications to an enterprise service approach.