SOA adoption down from 2006: if so, why?

Are business leaders out to lunch on SOA?

Loraine Lawson wonders out loud in her latest post: What's the deal with all these SOA "failure" stories and surveys? She calls on the carpet the latest story on SOA failure, which says SOA -- and integration in general for that matter -- is, like, so 2006.

Are business leaders out to lunch on SOA?

The article cites a survey of 450 decision-makers that found only 18% implementing SOA, saying this is down from 2006 levels.

Loraine speculates that the survey was conducted in the UK or EU, and therefore reflects different thinking about SOA than found in North America. Still, it's worth re-evaluating the way SOA and integration are presented to the business, Loraine says.

Let me add my theory that perhaps the adoption numbers are lower because there is greater clarity about SOA. General understanding of what SOA is -- and isn't -- has matured since 2006. Companies may have a better sense of where they stand on the continuum between JBOWS (Just a Bunch of Web Services) and SOA enablement.

Put another way, perhaps more companies now realize that they are still closer to JBOWS than they are to SOA. And more companies now realize SOA is a long haul, not an overnight project. And that's a good thing.

The survey also uncovered a trend that has been seen in other studies: that "IT integration and SOA are not getting enough board-level attention." A recent survey sponsored by Software AG, for example, found that only 18% of respondents say their CIO is involved with SOA efforts.

Business-level decision-makers, then, are out to lunch when it comes to SOA. The bottom line is we need more professionals to step up and take leadership roles in the SOA space, to help their businesses make the most of this transformative approach to management and technology. There needs to be more communication and interaction with the business leadership side of the house.

To reach these people, Loraine provides the essential truths that can make this happen: 1) "measure, measure, measure," 2) tie the initiative directly to the business advancement -- and not IT advancement.