How SOA and IT are faring in the 'unrecession'

SOA will sink or swim because of SOA, not the economy

Rich Seeley, who has been tracking the relationship between the overall economy and IT/SOA in the recent turbulent months, just posted an update on how SOA has been faring through it all.

SOA will sink or swim because of SOA, not the economy

He contacted Tony Baer, Jason Bloomberg, Randy Heffner, Niel Ward-Dutton, Bradley Shimmin, and yours truly for our thoughts on what's been happening in SOAland during this period of economic uncertainty.

The general consensus from all of us is: there has been no apparent impact or downturn in support for SOA projects and initiatives. And we also generally agreed that any rise or fall in SOA's fortunes will happen regardless of how well or how lousy the economy is doing. But it may be in many organizations' best interests to look into service orienting.

There's also the question of whether the economy actually is in recession or not. Some economists and observers say we are, but others are thinking twice. I think the term "unrecession" says it all. There is pain out there, but it is being felt unevenly -- and not in the IT sector at this time.

No question, that pain WAS felt in the IT sector during the harsh IT recession of 2001-2003. Tony and I agreed that SOA was born during that miserable period as a way to streamline and cut costs in the post-Y2K, post-dot-bomb era.

Tony added that SOA is now experiencing a "midlife crisis," with a backlash against the perceived complexity of SOA methodologies. (Wow, midlife crisis already? Maybe all SOA needs is a sports car...)

Tony and I also agreed that IT budgets remain pretty tight -- still decimated in some cases -- from the 2001-2003 downturn, so there's not likely to be further cuts if the order did come down from corporate. However, as has been the case for most of this decade, Tony added, "there's scant appetite at least in North America for major architectural initiatives – IT budgets and organizations are pretty lean today."

Nevertheless, Jason Bloomberg pointed out that cutting back on SOA projects may be counter-productive to any cost-cutting efforts. "SOA offers cost savings and agility, two essential benefits in good times and bad. What smart organizations are doing is taking a more focused approach to their SOA initiatives, driving toward key business benefits with more rapid, less expensive iterations that show value quickly."