SOA vs. Dilbert

SOA vs. Dilbert

Summary: One of the unfortunate aspects of the current SOA wave is the way it imprisons our thinking. The term itself invites us to obsess over IT "architecture.


One of the unfortunate aspects of the current SOA wave is the way it imprisons our thinking. The term itself invites us to obsess over IT "architecture." The problem is our "stacks" simply don't rise high enough. dilbert

With that in mind, it's probably worthwhile to step back at least once or twice (or more) a day and start thinking about the people that our architectural offerings will house -- and the business activities they will enable. The bigger picture here is about refashioning and redefining business so that companies can be more agile and adaptive. It is about redefining work, particularly "service work," so that it proves more productive, innovative and even personally fulfilling. It is also about redefining business processes and workflows -- and providing the capabilities that enable these elements of work to be continually rethought, redesigned and improved.

Management theorist Peter Drucker and others have long noted how unproductive and mindless much of today's so-called "knowledge work" remains. Even Dilbert shows us that. However, this SOA movement may represent an important step out of the Dilbertian trap. It lays the groundwork for people to play immensely more creative -- and productive -- roles in their companies. Of course, IT architecture won't transform our companies and business lives. The question to spend more time considering is how it can help do these things.    

Topic: Enterprise Software

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  • Forrest -> Trees, can you see?

    ANY radical change in thinking takes YEARS to win over converts. Leasing software access from a SOA company is a new paradigm that takes getting used to. Companies DON'T like to change the way they work, but if the competition starts hurting them - they'll start JUMPING on the bandwagon of change.

    But WHO will show the way or do the hurting? No pain no gain is relevent here! Not a SINGLE computer services vendor (HP,IBM,Sun,M$) is interested in SOA - as it is too different from their (profitable) model. This leaves VERY small companies to forge ahead - and we know the history of small companies vs. M$ (not to mention the others).
    Roger Ramjet
    • Once company does...

      FYI -
      I am currently and have been for several years now an avid Sybase PowerBuilder developer. It blows away just about anything out there for RAD 2-tier and N-tier development.

      I've been using SOA since 1998. Powerbuilder has a foundation class that is designed around SOA. So you see - not only is a company delivering a solution, they have been for many versions!

      It is amazing what is out there if you stay away from the junk that M$ shovels.

    • Apparently, you're not paying too much attention...

      because IBM is already there. Go to and search on "service oriented architecture" - you'll find many hits from the Developworks pages as well as the IBM Global Services pages.
      IT Makes Sense
  • Service-Oriented Architecture

    Shouldn't a well crafted item define the acronym at its heart?
  • FedEx

    Amongst the compnies who might have given some though is FedEx.

    FedEx has designed its systems and the busness model more to suit this model.

    They could be good example to start with.