One of the most immediate business benefits that can come out of Web services and SOA is that of reuse. Namely, companies or their developers shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel every time they need to build or integrate a new application. Of course, we've been down this road before, going back to the days of object-oriented programming, but we never seem to quite get there. David Chappell, who's been following the progression of Web services and SOA for some time, says flat out that SOA won't get us to the holy grail of reuse either. But it's a good place to start.
Technically, reuse is a no-brainer. But organizational politics, as well as differences in business strategies and goals between various departments, get in the way of software reuse. "Even if agreement is reached, businesses change very fast. The right definition today can be wrong tomorrow," Chappell writes. Why SOA may succeed where other approaches fail is the fact that it's there if you need it, but not being imposed against your will.