IT departments don't have time for SOA

A couple of months ago, we reported on Ron Schmelzer's observation that a major source of SOA resistance may be IT departments themselves.Paul Kiel gets into the head of IT, and makes some astute observations about why IT may be perceived as SOA spoilers.

A couple of months ago, we reported on Ron Schmelzer's observation that a major source of SOA resistance may be IT departments themselves.

Paul Kiel gets into the head of IT, and makes some astute observations about why IT may be perceived as SOA spoilers.

First and foremost, IT may actually like SOA, but they are simply too consumed with day-to-day tasks and ongoing maintenance. During the post-dot-bomb slowdown earlier in the decade, many IT departments were gutted our outsourced. As things improved, new projects and responsibilities have been piled on IT managers, but not as much in new budget or staffing resources. "Here, do these 10 extra things, start generating more reports to help us with Sarbanes-Oxley, but we're not going to give you more budget."

As Paul puts it: "They are either understaffed or overcommitted to current, immediate concerns. In short, its hard to think about a better house when the one you have is on fire. The only progress that can be made here is baby steps at best."

Paul also points out that IT folks are jaded from all the various technology fads and pitches that have morphed through the market over the years. They see SOA as "just another rearchitecting."

Here's a very plausible scenario: IT simply may not be calling it SOA, but SOA approaches may be seeping in under different names. "For example, focusing on discrete services they offer to clients," Paul says. "Enforcing good best practices (governance) of those service architectures. Using standardized data models. All of these are good SOA features. Because SOA did not invent these features, some people use them but don't call it SOA."