Jeff Schneider, CEO of Momentum Software, recently went out to the field and recounts what he heard from the corporate development community about service-oriented architecture in his latest blog entry.
He found a "huge gap between leadership and worker-bees" in terms of understanding exactly what moving to an SOA entails. While IT budgets are returning, there seems to be a lack of a cohesive approach to service-oriented anything, he finds. "In large corporations, the majority of the employees had never spoken with their CIO, never seen a strategic IT plan, and never had the chance to talk with anyone of any influence about the fundamental problems in their organization."
Plus, many IT professionals are kept just too heads-down busy churning out solutions to be able to contribute the big picture. "Development methodology? Yeah, we have a development methodology - write the code real fast and put it in production."
Schneider also finds several trends percolating to the surface. There's a lot of interest in developing a "Web services catalog" (UDDI registry). Plus, there is plenty of interest in enterprise service bus (ESB) architectures.
Finally, developers need training to develop a better grasp of the evolving big picture of SOA. "The fundamentals of designing systems for use, reuse, evolve-ability and agility were missing," Schneider observes. "Developers don't need Web services training, they need loose coupling training."
SOA is not your ordinary technology rollout -- it is a process of effective communication, selling ideas and concepts, and management. Developers, architects, and business users need to be engaged in the process for it to succeed. The question is, will the paradigm shift this much? Or will SOA be another "CRM" or "ERP" colossus that gets rammed through the organization at a high cost of time and capital?