SOA may be taking the risk out of cloud computing

Current concerns about the viability and ROI-ness of service-oriented architecture are missing a far greater point.

EDS Fellow Alex Cameron has been pondering the growth of complex systems, and has come to the conclusion that current concerns about the viability and ROI-ness of service-oriented architecture (SOA) are missing a far greater point.

More than anything else, he wrote, SOA is taking the risk out of cloud computing, and changing the face of networks:

"I am convinced that SOA is on track to achieving some remarkable outcomes--at a personal level I am seeing this in every project I am involved in. So, I don't think it is so much a failure of SOA, but more a lack on insight into how SOA may be behaving at the major nodes of the network...

"...we could surmise that to the complex systems would also have to be adoption of consistent technologies and standards, throughout the network...So, organizations that are not networked outside their organization boundaries could be slow adopters of SOA and its associated technologies, but when they do adopt, they will do so through connection to the nodes that offer the most services and the least risk, thereby reinforcing the law. The large nodes have, to a large extent, already formed and are offering the very services that are giving rise to the concept of cloud computing."

We're seeing more visions of Web-oriented Architecture, in which the Web becomes a gigantic service oriented architecture, with protocols, principles, and practices applicable internally and externally to organizations. Cameron no longer sees a difference between internal and external networks.

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. This article was first published as a blog post on ZDNet Asia’s sister site ZDNet.com.