It's a pretty safe assumption that SOA is, or should be, an important subset of "enterprise architecture," and vice-versa.
However, Dave Linthicum, who recently attended the recent Enterprise Architecture conference in San Diego, observes that he heard "little about SOA during the entire conference." He went on to observe that "even the EA magazines and vendors did not mention SOA, and I'm not sure the attendees understand the synergies between the two disciplines." He quips:
"There is still a huge divide between the "traditional EA guys" and the "SOA guys." I was joking during my talk that service-oriented architects are enterprise architects with earrings. Perhaps that's more true that humorous."
Dave goes on to point out that "the bottom line is that SOA needs EA, and EA needs SOA, and the conversations between the two camp don't seem to be occurring. Different conferences, different people, different approaches, different tools -- same problem looking to be solved."
I've seen plenty of evidence of the same divide between SOA proponents and a number of other key areas, including business process management professionals, mainframe professionals, security professionals, data warehouse/data management professionals, and others. CIO's Chris Koch, for one, talked about a significant divide between the BPM and SOA camps.
All recognize the huge impact SOA is starting to have on their jobs and projects, but they seem to be at least once-removed from the core of the SOA action in enterprises. The question is, will there be dedicated SOA teams evolving within enterprises, or will SOA become an ingrained part of everyone's jobs? One of the interesting challenges with SOA is that it is an approach that shouldn't be owned by any one particular group, it is an enterprise-wide venture that brings in a lot of disciplines.
One of the challenges facing SOA in the early stages of its evolution, in fact, is moving beyond the scope of the IT department. The success of SOA depends on a sense of ownership by groups that haven't necessarily worked closely with IT in the past.
Readers, how do you see the role of SOA "stewards" evolving within your companies? Enter your thoughts in the online poll, posted below, to give us an idea of who may be in charge of SOA.