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Server-free architectures, .NET, vanishing IT departments: top 10 posts for 2010

Here are the top 10 posts that generated the most traffic -- and also discussion -- in the year 2010. A common thread throughout -- how much IT does a company really need these days?

We call this blogsite "Service Oriented," and cover a lot of ground, not only with SOA, but also focusing on topics such as enterprise architecture, cloud, data management, IT management, data center operations, business process management, and event processing, to name a few.

The most popular posts here at this blogsite also run the gamut. We heard from many quarters, and here are the top 10 posts that generated the most traffic for this blogsite for the year 2010. A common thread throughout — how much IT does a company really need these days?

1 Rise of SFA, the 'server-free architecture:' There was a time when launching a serious startup required serious capital. Seed money was required for hiring talent, marketing and promotion, office space, and for technology to make it all happen. The technology portion of the equation is suddenly diminishing, dramatically. Thanks to cloud computing and social networking resources, it now costs virtually pennies to secure and get the infrastructure needed up and running to get a new venture -- be it a new business or part of an existing business -- off the ground.

2 Ten examples of SOA at work, right now: Actually, these case studies were first published here in 2006, but it can be assumed that these implementations have gained more ground, generated more key business metrics, and provided more learning for both the business and technology professionals. Implementations cited took place at NASA, Harvard Medical School, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Verizon Communications, and Fireman's Fund. For more examples from this year, check out my last post, "Ten examples of SOA at work in 2010."

3 .NET, great disruptor of the decade: This one stirred quite a bit of discussion, as any topic involving Microsoft is likely to do. .NET and the .NET Framework were probably just as disruptive as open source, especially to the emerging SOA space, over the past decade. Why? Because Microsoft brought service orientation to the unserved and underserved part of the market that couldn’t afford SOA.

4 Microsoft favoring HTML5 over Silverlight: reports: Another hot zone with Microsoft right in the middle, stirring things up. Reports abounded across the news channels and the blogosphere that Microsoft is shifting its emphasis away from its own Silverlight rich client environment in favor of HTML5.

5 Another view: Why IT should not be run as a business: I'm always preaching here that IT should run like a business, that it is a business, so it pained me to publish this one. But I need to present as many sides of an argument as possible. And Bob Lewis did make a compelling argument to the contrary, pointing out that well-run businesses view IT is a strategic partner to the rest of the business, “not a subservient order taker content to process work requests while accepting the blame for everything that goes wrong.” And he says, it's wrong to view IT services as commodities that can purchased from any lowest-cost supplier -- never mind security, redundancy and uptime.

6 Top 10 enterprise architecture trends, identified by Forrester: I don't hold the fact that Forrester is an analyst firm against it -- in fact, some of my best friends are analysts. And, Forrester has been right on top of the SOA game for some time now. Forrester identified 15 trends shaping enterprise architecture, led by next-gen BI taking shape, business rules processing and policy-based SOA moving to the mainstream, and SaaS and cloud-based platforms become standard.

7 Oracle sues Google: titanic clash over Java platform looms: Oracle's Sun acqusition has had a lot of interesting fallout. One was the direction of Java and the Java Platform. In the fall, Oracle filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, stating that Google has violated Oracle’s patents associated with the Java platform technology within the Google Android mobile stack.

8 Cloud computing is better left to cloud vendors, not enterprises: Microsoft report: How can anyone not have an opinion on a statement such as this? And the fact that someone in Redmond said this? They also say: "The economic benefits of public clouds are getting so compelling — particularly in their ability to deal with variability — that organizations will soon have difficulty justifying why they maintain their own IT infrastructures." Ouch!

9 The vanishing IT department: Double ouch! This plays right off the above-mentioned report on why companies shouldn't be trying to run their own clouds. Usually, it's Gartner that comes up with inflammatory predictions such as IT departments withering away. But in this case, it was the Corporate Executive Board  that predicted that by 2015, many IT departments will only be a quarter of their current size, and eight out of ten IT dollars going to outside service providers.

10 Passwords, security protocols cost more than they save, says Microsoft researcher: Okay, it looks like Redmond gave me a lot to post about this year. In this case, they allege that coming up with strong passwords is a waste of time -- and may in fact cost more time than the cost of any potential security breach.

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