At a recent IBM customer conference, Steve Mills, IBM's software group senior vice president, and Michael Liebow, vice president of Web services for IBM's Global Services Division, presented their vision of SOA's future. Mills contended that new developments in the field will help SOAs become an increasingly attractive option for streamlining the processes and IT infrastructure. "Companies have always wanted to integrate their business processes, but that has frequently been a problem," he said, according to VAR Business.
Insurance provider Fireman's Fund, an IBM client, backed up the assertion. CIO Fred Matteson said the company is now deploying an SOA as an alternative to its past architecture, which has proved inflexible and inefficient particularly in areas such as forms processing forms. It also seeks network flexibility as it adds or subtracts personnel. "We needed to change our development model from fixed costs to variable costs...and to do that, we needed an IT infrastructure to support it," he said.
Matteson suggested that the success of SOAs may depend on initially rolling out applications that are less than mission-critical. "By taking a very simple first step, we could easily make the SOA format available without taking a lot of business risks," he added.