Survey: companies investing millions in SOA, but don't exactly know why

AMR Research just released snippets of its latest survey on SOA spending trends, and finds big money is flowing -- but many of the companies spending the money may not exactly know what they're investing in.The typical company adopting SOA spent $1.

AMR Research just released snippets of its latest survey on SOA spending trends, and finds big money is flowing -- but many of the companies spending the money may not exactly know what they're investing in.

The typical company adopting SOA spent $1.4 million on software and services in 2007, AMR estimates. AMR also said it found tnat SOA adoption is broad based and growing rapidly—China, Germany, and the United States all showed adoption growth rates of over 100%.

However, while the money for SOA will keep flowing through 2008, an interview with the survey's author reveals that there may be little rhyme or reason to the spending. “Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested pursuing these markets in 2008, much of it wasted,” said AMR analyst Ian Finley, quoted in InfoWorld.

Why is the money being wasted? Finley says there is not single driving focus for SOA. Instead, companies end up investing in SOA for a range of reasons, often unrelated individual priorities.

The survey found that the primary drivers for SOA investment were to meet the need to change investments faster, cheaper, and with less risk (22%), to meet requirements of individual projects (18%), and to reduce IT costs through reuse (17%).

While code reuse ranks as a reason to go with SOA, Finley doesn't see it as the ultimate advantage of SOA. Rather, the changed mindset that SOA brings to development and management is the real value -- a value hard to quantify, of course. In addition, agility -- through faster time to market -- is the benefit early adopters are discovering. However, improved agility is also hard to quantify.

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