Survey shows SOA success is in the eye of the beholder

Forrester reconfirms that a majority of SOA users are happy with the results so far. But plenty of work still needs to be done.

It's been quite a year of soul-searching for SOA proponents and critics alike, so it's only appropriate we wrap up 2009 with discussion of Forrester Research statistics that show that SOA has made impressive gains -- at least in the view of those companies who feel they have some form of SOA.  As Loraine Lawson so aptly puts it in a post about the survey, "it's impossible to tell how those companies implemented SOA."

Loraine shares some of Forrester's latest observations, published in December and covering the SOA investment plans of a range of organizations, from the Global 2000 to large companies of at least 1,000. The study finds some cause for optimism about the course service oriented architecture continues to take:

“Sixty-eight percent of enterprises say they are using SOA or will be using it by the end of 2010. Fifty-six percent are using SOA now, and that number jumps to 74 percent when considering only Global 2000 organizations. All this SOA usage is not just industry hype and experimentation, either. SOA has been delivering tangible results that make IT executives want more of it: 52 percent of current enterprise SOA users say it has delivered enough benefit that they plan to expand its use, while only one percent of SOA users say they are cutting back on SOA because they see little or no benefit. However, getting SOA right takes work: 18 percent of enterprise SOA users say they are struggling to get the benefits.”

Again, along with the fact that a majority of SOA users are happy with the results, there is that one percent statistic which Forrester found back in the spring -- only one out of 100 SOA projects have been outright canceled due to perceived failure. But enterprise agility is always a fast-moving target, and today's success story constantly needs to be updated.

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