A reader provided some thoughtful insights to my recent post on whether SOA projects may exceed ERP systems in pain and suffering. I wanted to bring this out and share his thoughts with you.
In the posting, I quoted Momentum's Jeff Schneider, who said that building an SOA requires a complete overhaul of an IT infrastructure, of which the ERP is just a part. The reader takes issue with requiring such an immense undertaking, and responds: "A steady approach is far better. SOAs will change as they mature, suppliers across the supply chain will come up with innovative interim solutions [many very highly functioned and robust solutions already exist] to reduce the impact on your investment cycle." The reader also points out that external service provider may also be able to provide some of these capabilities.
SOA building isn't necessarily trying to meet today's needs, but looking to future needs, the reader observes. "I always set the first main objective as; Understand what we mean by services, and start breaking down your current infrastructure in terms of services [even though it can sometimes feel like shoe-horning a live eel into a bucket full of live fishing bait] to learn about service agility, and meeting customer's needs through QoS metrics. But a CIO does not have to start 'providing services' just because they finished this exercise. It is often enough just that they can see how things will work to be ready for tomorrow."