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SOA top of mind but not top of budget: IDC

While IT executives can see the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach, minimal budgets and a lack of mature technology are holding back adoption, according to the research house.
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Written by Angus Kidman on
While IT executives can see the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach, minimal budgets and a lack of mature technology are holding back adoption, according to the research house.

Speaking at a specialist conference on SOA deployment, Rob Hailstone, director of IDC's European SOA and application platforms division, said that a survey of attendees at a similar conference last year showed that a lack of budget was the most common reason for stalling on SOA projects, with 40 percent citing this as a major factor.

The perception that SOA products remained immature was also widespread, with 26 percent saying they did not think current technologies were suitable. "There's a lot of scepticism about the maturity of the market," Hailstone said.

That didn't mean SOA should be rejected, he added. "The primary business purpose of SOA is giving the business back its right to change its mind," Hailstone said. While such flexibility was highly desirable to management, planning for an SOA remained a challenging task which should not be underestimated. "The simplicity of SOA has been overstated," he added. "SOA actually brings some complexity. Architecturally, it's quite simple; the problems come because there are lots of moving parts."

Those companies which do successfully deploy an overall architecture can reap substantial benefits. John McLean, director of SOA registry development for IBM, cited the example of Nintendo Australia, which saved AU$200,000 and cut AU$20,000 in annual maintenance costs by using an SOA to underpin a new Web-based ERP system.

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