Another view: SOA won't trump 'toxic human behavior'

Robert McIlree picked up on my recent post speculating on whether properly designed SOA could have alleviated the mortgage crisis, as proposed by James Governor in an IBM Webcast. Unfortunately, he feels, the best-designed technology in the world can't trump "toxic human behavior.

Robert McIlree picked up on my recent post speculating on whether properly designed SOA could have alleviated the mortgage crisis, as proposed by James Governor in an IBM Webcast. Unfortunately, he feels, the best-designed technology in the world can't trump "toxic human behavior."

As Robert puts it, "SOA, or any other architectural approach or technology cannot overcome, by itself, human nature - those natures specifically being greed, fraud, and false assumptions, for starters."

Economic self-interest will always override "any technology or techno-functional approach," he says. "Why? Because we have to get the processes right first. And any process, no matter how cleverly or completely designed, can be gamed or otherwise abused for adverse purposes - the law of unintended consequences being what it is. While we can reduce greed, fraud, and outright blunders along these lines, we can never completely eliminate them."

Business technology can provide a lot of information and analysis, and help uncover and identify key resources. It can't force business decision-makers down the righteous path. But perhaps approaches such as SOA can provide the flexibility and agility to quickly course-correct when it is discovered that the business is slipping down the wrong path.

But remember that tried-and-saying from Mike Hammer: "Automate a mess, and you get an automated mess."

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