Forrester Research has released the results of an interesting study on service-oriented architecture, conducted last November, which seems to suggest that just about everyone who's anyone is doing SOA now, or planning to do it real soon. (A summary appears in this TechTarget article.) The consultancy's survey of 116 corporate decision makers found that more than 70% of large enterprises, 28% of medium-sized enterprises and 22% of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) are using SOA today. When factoring in those firms expecting to adopt SOA by year's end, the numbers soar to 89%, 61% and 40%, respectively.
SOA is an IT infrastructure play, the study confirms. Respondents primarily reported using SOA for internal integration (37%), and about 15% used the approach for external integration. Some also reported using SOA for multi-channel applications (9%) and strategic business transformation (9%).
A few months back, as reported at this blogsite, Yankee Group also provided huge numbers for current and planned SOA adoption, also around 70%. These studies appear to define SOA in its broadest sense, because even the most sophisticated sites I've encountered are just starting to bring out their Web services into the business process flow at selected points. There is not a lot of clarity yet about what makes an SOA. You could have a small, functioning SOA in which two Web services performing some sort of simple end-to-end business process. But you could have 1,000 point-to-point Web services that are not interconnected; this does not an SOA make.