One the goals of the current economic stimulus plan being prepped in Washington is that it will funnel money into infrastructure projects that will ostensibly be "shovel-ready," meaning they are ready to go and could possibly lead to new waves of hiring.
Perhaps we should look at service orienting as a shovel-ready "stimulus" program for corporate growth. Because it works both ways -- the current rough-and-tumble economy may be good for SOA, and SOA may be good for the economy.
In terms of the economy being good for SOA, Dave Linthicum asks if "shrinking budgets are good for SOA?", noting that tighter budgets may be steering SOA teams away from large technology purchases and toward doing what SOA was intended to do -- architecture. Dave has observed that new projects are "more about getting things done in a practical and realistic manner." He's seeing more of a laser focus on doing the things that deliver the most, more attention to ROI. And that's taking us back to the original purpose of SOA. We have a sharper, more focused SOA. And that's a good thing.
Perhaps SOA can play a role in not only keeping costs down, but also revitalizing business growth as well. But can service orientation also "stimulate" more economic activity and value? Consider the advantages properly implemented SOA can deliver:
Increase confidence through greater transparency of applications and data, especially at a time when markets have been quaking from fear of what they don't know;
Help businesses collaborate better through more rapid integration. This is a time when organizations are re-evaluating, breaking down and reconstituting processes, or going through mergers (Consider how SOA helped Wells Fargo swallow Wachovia, explained in an interview with Dana Gardner.)
Help businesses achieve economies of scale: Organizations have a wealth of assets and resources they could tap into, if only they could. SOA can help surface these resources for new uses across the business (Consider the role SOA plays in modernizing legacy systems, cited by Loraine Lawson).
Help organizations expand or contract pieces of the business, as needed, without fuss and muss. Technology resources can quickly be pointed to business units or products that are seeing spikes in growth.