Survey says: The bad economy is good for SOA

The question was simple: "Will the down economy increase or decrease the interest in SOA?" The response was interesting.

The question was simple: "Will the down economy increase or decrease the interest in SOA?" The response was interesting. About 75 percent said that the interest in SOA would increase, while 25 percent voted for decrease. I figured it would be more 50/50. Anyway, if you want to be counted in the future, you can sign up here.

The core argument is sound: SOA is really about creating efficiencies within enterprise IT, thus lowering costs over time. I've proven this many time using ROI analysis, and while mileage may vary greatly, the majority of enterprises will find huge cost saving from SOA. That is, if they do it correctly.

The trick is that SOA costs money; thus, you need to convince management that the investment will indeed provide a payback. When budgets are contracting this is a much harder sale. However, many organizations are downsizing and budget-slashing, and with growing backlogs, they are desperate to try something that will bring more agility to IT.

The danger is that while the downturn is changing behavior, good times are always around the corner. Thus, I'm sure many a SOA project will be scuttled to chase more tactical concerns once money does not seem to be as much of an issue. That will be a huge mistake, but a common problem.

Truth be told, every cloud has a silver lining. While the business environment is difficult these days, there is also ample opportunity to use this as a good case to improve enterprise IT using SOA. Corporate America may find that downturn of 2008 and 2009 will be the birth of their new and more effective businesses that allows them to jump over their competition as the economy recovers.

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