SOA as 'iTunes for business': interesting analogy

For quite some time, we have talked about the concept of accessing SOA-ready services through public online marketplaces, and how that could shake up the way we approach IT. We're seeing manifestations of this model through cloud computing.

For quite some time, we have talked about the concept of accessing SOA-ready services through public online marketplaces, and how that could shake up the way we approach IT. We're seeing manifestations of this model through cloud computing.

But I wish I could have expressed it the way George Ravich, chief marketing officer at Fundtech, just put it in a ComputerWeekly interview: Have services available the way iTunes are available online, ready to plug into a framework. "the SOA service catalog promises to have the same impact on enterprise computing as the iTunes playlist has had on listening to music."

Fundtech provides financial services via the cloud, and is focusing on other SOA-based services.

SOA application lists should provide services -- such as customer authentication -- that can be plugged into a company's "playlist." As Ravich illustrates:

"Prior to the iPod, people listened to songs on a vinyl record or a CD in the order that the publisher determined. If you wanted to play several songs from different albums, it was a complicated and time-consuming activity,. Now, with an iPod, you can take the individual songs you own and create an endless number of play lists. Each song track is reusable in different settings and situations, under the full control of the listener."

"Similarly, prior to SOA, enterprise applications trapped business processes within inflexible workflows. Without extensive IT development the reuse of any single business process became unfeasible within these systems, leading to multiple versions of the same process being developed separately for different applications and channels."

Maybe the SOA world needs a Steve Jobs-like visionary to package and sell SOA in such a fashion. Or, perhaps, we've already been doing it all along -- without all the pizazz and hoopla.