The elephant in the room: SOA and the economy

We've all been distracted by events in the economy over the past few weeks, and let's face it, it makes for a very large elephant in the room when we talk about SOA.All debates about REST, SOAP, Java, .

We've all been distracted by events in the economy over the past few weeks, and let's face it, it makes for a very large elephant in the room when we talk about SOA.

All debates about REST, SOAP, Java, .NET, JSON, ESBs, WOA won't mean a thing if they don't support the business, or the business won't support SOA initiatives. Kind of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (or on the Pacific Princess to keep things in a more positive vein.) The economy trumps all, and economic factors will be the final determinant as to where we go with SOA and all related activities.

That's why SOA has to be done well, SOA has to be done right, and it has to serve the interests of the business. It has to be the business.

Loraine Lawson has been watching the stomach-churning events of late and ponders what it all means for SOA and integration. She makes this interesting observation:

"While it’s unlikely the IT division or the technology sector will be continue to be a safe haven from the recession, it seems integration work is one of the best gigs going, in part thanks to the economic upheaval."

There are plenty of observers that say an economic downturn will put the freeze on SOA-related projects. But to paraphrase mission controller Gene Kranz during the Apollo 13 crisis...  The economic situation may not be SOA's darkest hour, but rather, prove to be it's finest hour. SOA and Web services came of age during and after the tech downturn of 2001 because they were a simpler, faster, and more agile way to build powerful systems. SOA may finally prove its meddle as the way to quickly achieve agility and flexibility -- to actually make the business itself more lightweight, and thus effectively navigate the changes thrown before it.

Let's stop worrying about the lightweightness of technologies, and concentrate on how lightweight our businesses can be.  Service oriented architecture -- through a variety of approaches -- is one important way to make this happen.