Will SOA make offshoring unnecessary?

SOA may level the playing field between North America, EU, and emerging economies

"I know what you're thinking: SOA hype has reached an absurd level and now someone is literally proclaiming that it will change the world," Paul O'Connor, chief architect and SOA Practice managing principle for e-brilliance LLC, starts out in this new post. "But bear with me for a minute."

O'Connor's take may seem counter-intuitive at first: that SOA is "accelerating business globalization," and services can now be developed, published, and consumed by entities anywhere across the globe. However, in the process, he observes, the business value of technology deployments is elevated from the infrastructure level to the business service level:

"Everything from financial services to energy trading to macadamia nut fulfillment will be published to service registries and anxiously consumed by business analysts around the world to save money on transactions or to introduce new functions. This will usher in an era where countries can trade on their intellectual capital at the service fulfillment level and usher out an era where they have to send that capital overseas or otherwise sell it piecemeal to foreign firms. Return on investments in education and technology will be much quicker in this climate, globally."
O'Connor appears to be saying that the economies gained through leveraging standardized, reusable, and loosely coupled services will level the playing field between North American, European IT shops and those in emerging regions such as India and China. O'Connor also argues that future development will be driven more by business managers, with less involvement from development shops. The goal of offshoring has been to cut application development costs -- which SOA promises to do in a big way. Why contract overseas for a huge new coding project when the necessary business functions you seek may already be available as published services (which may or may not have originated overseas)?

Ironically, the net result may be less IT work sent around the globe, because more resources are available from around the globe.