SOA for all in 18 months? Well, sort of, for one process -- and only for publicly traded companies. The financial departments of publicly traded companies, that is.
Gartner's Nick Gall was kind enough to respond to my recent post with a clarification, in which he was quoted as stating that "you’re all going to be doing SOA in 18 months whether you plan to or not.”
I'm surfacing Nick's comments as a full post to provide a further elaboration on what he meant. He says that the statement, delivered to attendees to Microsoft's SOA confab, was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, noting that he was actually referring to "the SEC announcement in 2008 that between now and 2011 it will be phasing in mandatory use of XBRL for financial reporting into the SEC."
"Since the audience was primarily composed of IT employees of public companies regulated by the SEC, I thought I would highlight that 'everyone' will have to use the automated SEC reporting service to deliver their 10Qs etc. in the form of XBRL. This is what I meant by 'you'll all be doing SOA in 18 months or so.'"
Of course, this is but one shred of the Architecture Formerly Known as SOA. Nick let it be known that he is firmly in the camp that believes in the principles of service orientation, but the term "SOA" may have had its day.
Perhaps we are all doing some piece of the evolution toward service oriented architecture now. But rare is the organization doing full-fledged SOA in its purest form. What is also interesting from this note is that the government is increasingly pushing digitization, as is the case here, and even SOA-related concepts in its dealing with contractors or the private sector. There can be clear efficiency gains, if done right.