SOA growing ... and nobody is surprised

Just when you thought it was time to bury SOA...

Loraine Lawson does her usual bang-up job in covering the SOA space, highlighting a recent Gartner Report that shows SOA growing. Says the report:

SOA underpins and enables initiatives aimed at cost reduction, such as SaaS or BPM, and we have noticed a growing interest around SOA from vertical industries, such as government and healthcare, which have been waiting for the technology and best practices to mature. Furthermore, some SOA initiatives already underway are being accelerated because users want to experience the benefits of SOA sooner rather than later.

The fact of the matter is that SOA is really good architecture, and good architecture translates into cost reduction. Thus, SOA is good in a down economy or an up economy. Most of the failures surrounding SOA have been chalked up to the overuse of technology or lack of governance. I could not agree more. The report continues:

Projects that implement SOA often focus too much on the technology to be used, treat SOA as any other application development project, and overlook the need for project management.

The boring stuff is still important, make sure to do your requirements up front, and don't fall in love with the technology too early. Also, keep in mind that SOA governance is as much about people and processes as it is technology. As for the future, the report indicates that "Gartner forecasts that through 2010, the lack of working SOA governance arrangements will be the most common reason for SOA failures."

What's funny about this is that so many analysts, bloggers, and press have been down on SOA in 2009 and have failed to understand the systemic value that it's able to drive. Once you do that, you'll find it's a good investment.