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Manes: in today's climate, be specific about SOA-related requests

In the second half of our recent BriefingsDirect podcast, hosted by Dana Gardner, we heard more from Anne Thomas Manes, who provided more perspective on  her recent proclamation that SOA -- at least as we knew it -- is dead. (Link to podcast here, full transcript here.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

In the second half of our recent BriefingsDirect podcast, hosted by Dana Gardner, we heard more from Anne Thomas Manes, who provided more perspective on  her recent proclamation that SOA -- at least as we knew it -- is dead. (Link to podcast here, full transcript here.)

The key factor is that in a rough-and-tumble economy, if you want money for a project, you have to show the business the money. As Anne put it:

"If you go before a funding board this year -- if you are an IT group and you are trying to get funding for some projects -- and you go forward with a proposal that says we need to do SOA, because SOA is good, it’s going to get shot down."

Instead, she advises, go to business decision makers with "very specific value-add projects" that use service oriented principles to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

What will work in 2009:

"'We need to build a billing service which replaces the 27 different billing capabilities that we have in each of our product applications out there.'"

What won't work in 2009:

"We need to go get an ESB. We need to go get some registry and repository technologies. We need to invest in all the SOA infrastructure. We need to do SOA just because SOA is what everybody is telling me we need to do."

Anne's point -- as she was making in her original "SOA is dead" post -- is that too many companies embarked on SOA efforts for SOA's sake. SOA is the mechanism, a philosophy if you will, that can bring business solutions to reality. But SOA by itself won't make a dime for the business.

Tont Baer -- also on the panel -- also provides insights on our recent discussion with Anne, noting that she updated "the classic argument that the business wants solutions that address business problems and deliver business value... Since the popping of the dot com bubble, few enterprises have had any appetite for technology projects justified on the basis of technology."

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