These are times that try banks' souls. Over the past few months, some financial services companies have been vaporized, and others have been absorbed or merged to save their skins.
It's possible that SOA efforts that have been underway at these organizations in recent years may have also saved their skin. That's because most of these government-backed (or government-prodded) mergers have been "shotgun weddings," as described by CapGemini's Sean Drewitt in a recent report in Bank Systems & Technology. There's a lot of technology within the merged parties that need to be somehow brought together.
There's plenty of integration work ahead. And since these merged financial organizations have had SOA in place, the unions may go a lot more smoothly with less risk. As Sterling Commerce's Jim Gahagan put it, "The fact that more banks are adopting a service-oriented architecture significantly helps when merging IT systems, according Gahagan. "Organizations that have adopted SOA tend to be more adaptable and nimble in how they perform a migration. It makes things much easier than doing individual migrations."