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Bull market for SOA emerges -- or should that be Red Bull market?

Dave Linthicum really has a way with expressions, and I can relate to his latest admonition -- forget the endless hype and discussion around SOA and cloud computing, and just sling down a few Red Bulls and start rocking and rolling.I, too, am getting tired, just tired of the back and forth of whether SOA is dead, the vendor hype and overpromising, and really tired of the negativity about the economy.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Dave Linthicum really has a way with expressions, and I can relate to his latest admonition -- forget the endless hype and discussion around SOA and cloud computing, and just sling down a few Red Bulls and start rocking and rolling.

I, too, am getting tired, just tired of the back and forth of whether SOA is dead, the vendor hype and overpromising, and really tired of the negativity about the economy.

But through every period of gloom and malaise arises new, green shoots, if you will, of renewed energy.  And while it may be disappointing to the gloomsters of the world, there are plenty of signs that the economy is emerging from the recent slump. And, it's interesting to see, there is a strong role for SOA in the coming recovery.  Earlier in the year, when the economy seemed really down in the dumps, everyone was also talking about the death of SOA as we knew it.

Well, Anne Thomas Manes was right, SOA (as we knew it) did die. But what's emerging in place of the bogged-down megaprojects many companies attempted to push through is a new, fired-up, more entrepreneurial and lightweight SOA. SOA closely linked with Enterprise 2.0 and Cloud Computing. Services closely linked to business problems. There's been an emerging sea change in thinking about SOA. So let's call it the emerging "Red Bull Market" for SOA.

Dave says the first generation of SOA efforts has seeped into the fabric of organizations:

"The fact of the matter is that those practicing SOA are making huge strides now. Architectures are on their second generation, and ROI is being felt at the board level. What has occurred is that, at the end of the day, it's all about architecture, not 'magic box' technology, and many find it's tough to get excited about where architecture technology is."

Gartner's Jess Thompson, for one, also sees a whole new realm of SOA emerging, in many cases embodied in REST services, Web Oriented Architecture and Event-Driven Architecture, and underpinning business process management (BPM) and cloud computing initiatives.

Both Dave and Loraine Lawson picked up on this report,and both agree that there's been a change in thinking about SOA. Loraine had even observed earlier in the year that SOA was only as dead as Elvis.

As quoted here in CIOL, Thompson talks about SOA's latest resurgence:

"SOA underpins and enables initiatives aimed at cost reduction, such as SaaS or BPM, and we have noticed a growing interest around SOA from vertical industries, such as government and healthcare, which have been waiting for the technology and best practices to mature. Furthermore, some SOA initiatives already underway are being accelerated because users want to experience the benefits of SOA sooner rather than later."

The cases where SOA seems to have failed stem mainly from a lack of good governance, Gartner says.

Thus, it's time to get smart about SOA. SOA is a long-term journey, but if done smartly, will deliver incremental benefits in increased streamlining and agility as the architecture proliferates. But it doesn't have to happen overnight. As I've referenced before in this blogsite, there are instances where the great expectations of SOA have been dashed in the reality of the tarpits of organizational politics and vendor overpromising.

As Dave suggests in his Red Bull post, keep your eye on the ROI, always keep streamlining your processes, and tie financial perks to SOA. We'll continue to harp on those points here as well.

So, have a Red Bull or two (in my case it would be Diet Coke) -- and prepare to the new surge in demand for all things service-oriented; things are heating up.

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