Many in this business talk about the wide disconnect between business and IT, but when it comes to SOA, it seems, they are of one mind. A new study released by BEA Systems finds that SOA is apparently as much on the radar screens of C-level executives as it is for their more technical staffers.
BEA vice president Bill Roth says that, surprisingly, just as many c-level executives responded to the survey as IT managers and architects. This is encouraging, he says, since "SOA is as much about organizational change as much it is about new technology, and thinking about new ways to organize IT and the assets."
SOA may bring benefits both to the business side and to the internal IT operation, the survey finds. More than 90 percent of participants cited business benefits like improved service to customers, partners and employees, greater operational efficiency and reduced complexity as key drivers for SOA. On the IT side, benefits such as lower maintenance and integration costs, more efficient application/project development, management and re-use, and more flexible/adaptable infrastructure were referenced by 88 percent of respondents.
So what's wrong with this rosy picture? Roth points out that most respondents still have not grasped the full meaning of SOA. "Everybody gets instinctively what SOA is all about," he relates. "But only 44 percent were familiar with SOA. For the other 66 percent, it's new territory. There’s still a lot of education that we need to do, but everybody gets the value. Business gets it as well." Another challenge that will have to be addressed is managing and monitoring service-level agreements, he adds.