For SOA, skills issues may hurt more than budget issues

"Is Our SOA Learning?" Kudos to Kyle Gabhart for one of funniest titles I've seen on a technology management blog this year.

"Is Our SOA Learning?" Kudos to Kyle Gabhart for one of funniest titles I've seen on a technology management blog this year.

And, to the more serious point, Kyle points to one of the most pressing concerns regarding service oriented architecture today -- perhaps even more pressing than potential budget cuts.  That is, many organizations may shy away from SOA because they don't have enough people that understand it.  Gartner said as much recently, noting that along with crummy governance and not having a viable business case, a major reason organizations choose for not pursuing SOA is a lack of skills and expertise.”

Kyle urges a holistic approach to SOA training that aligns with business requirements, and points to a whitepaper he co-wrote on the topic. (Kyle's whitepaper is mercifully brief, by the way.) The whitepaper references an Aberdeen study that makes the case for SOA-related skills development. The Aberdeen study determined that "best in class" companies (those outperforming others in the market) get there because they invest in training and education, along with investments in SOA infrastructure that start to get them beyond the JBOWS (Just a Bunch of Web Services) stage.

Critical skills in the SOA arena include those of enterprise architects, who can identify the business needs and guide SOA governance in the right direction. Also needed desperately: SOA proponents (doesn't have to be the CIO) who can light a spark under emerging SOA efforts -- even if it's under the radar without the C-level blessings. Without the right skills and passion on board, many SOA efforts will remain in the JBOWS stage for some time to come.

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