The folks at webMethods passed along the results of a study (which they presumably sponsored or heavily supported) that found that -- surprise -- users of the vendor's SOA Fabric suite achieved cost savings and agility.
Nevertheless, the study, produced by Nucleus Research, caught my eye, because it hit on the first and foremost advantage of SOA -- the reuse of services across business units.
The study also found that, on average, the companies studied maintained central service repositories of between 25 and 60 services capable of reuse. Since these are existing webMethods customers, it can be assumed that they are a little further ahead in SOA than the average enterprise.
Nucleus said that 30 to 75 percent of enterprise-wide projects were enhanced by the reuse of existing services -- which I would guess averages about 50 percent, which is a pretty good indicator that the concept of reuse is gaining traction. In addition, Nucleus reported that enterprises were able to reduce the programming component of project cycle time between 25 and 45 percent.
In other words, it appears that these companies were able to cut costs in about half of their enterprise development projects, and most of this was coming from reductions in programming time.
Nucleus also provides anecdotal examples of how businesses were able to turn around applications quicker to connect with business partners or achieve better internal integration, but does not provide hard statistics on the purely business benefits gleaned from SOA.
Nevertheless, IT and development productivity is one of the first areas where SOA will deliver ROI. Is this something you can take to your CFO? Or is the C-level looking for more advantages on the business end of SOA?