Boardrooms are being blinded by the alphabet soup that surrounds
service-oriented architecture (SOA)--leading to a hard time for heads of IT
looking for budget and ultimately a lack of flexibility at user
That's according to a survey of 100 U.K. IT directors undertaken by Vanson
Bourne on behalf of Diagonal, a systems integrator and major SAP partner.
SOA refers to the re-engineering of IT systems and development that makes use
of reusable chunks of software, aligned to business processes. It is an approach
which, in theory, shouldn't lead to lots of costly legacy infrastructure and is
a step up on from the Web services trend of the past five years, which has seen
software components plugged together over the internet to allow new and dynamic
end user services.
Melvin James, enterprise services director at Diagonal, said: "There is far
too much focus on SOA at a detailed, standards level. It actually isn't about IT
projects but delivering business transformation and benefits."
The study found 84 per cent of those polled thought their CEOs and FDs do not
understand SOA and its benefits. At the same time, two-thirds of the IT heads in
the survey consider it hyped and a term used for marketing purposes.
Diagonal's James said different software vendors coming at SOA from different
angles--from niche players specializing in the area to large, more generalist
vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP--have tried to differentiate
their offerings and clouded the overall benefits to be had.
There is a worry at board level that SOA is about new technology and new
spend rather than leveraging what organizations already have and improving
process, added James.
Tony Hallett of Silicon.com reported from London.