Joe McKendrick chimes in on the recent Gartner report, reporting a decline in the number of SOA projects. I already put my 2 cents in here, but Joe finds some other data that seems to go against what Gartner found.
"...in my own work with Evans Data, based on a survey conducted in September and October (when the financial crisis was hot and heavy), we that found all systems were still 'go' for SOA efforts -- but with plenty of continuing reservations about ROI. Fifty-two percent had SOA-based projects underway, and another 31% were planning to start SOA projects over the next 12 months. Gartner put it at 53% with SOA and 25% planning earlier in the summer. So, if anything, 78%-84% of organizations with or planning SOA seems more like saturation than anything else."
Joe is pretty much pointing out what I'm seeing as well. Companies are clearly nervous, but I don't see interest in SOA declining. Again, I'm focusing on what SOA is, an architectural pattern that will have a long life, and not the buzzword, which always have short lives.
The concept of SOA seems to be embedded where it needs to be embedded, and the only downturn...well...is the downturn. Budgets are down, and IT groups are focused on the tactical issues in many instances and I suspect will continue to do that throughout the early part of 2009. This is the negative.
However, if the interest is in consolidation and efficiencies, you'll find that SOA can bring those to enterprises and provide some short-term wins as well. The trick is to focus the efforts on small high-value projects, executing toward a larger SOA strategy. Thus, in some instances reduced budgets will drive interest toward SOA. This is the positive.
SOA is one of those concepts that indeed has true value within enterprises and a clear ROI, if you take time to look at the impact. Thus, as time goes on, enterprises will defer to SOA as the correct approach toward architecture, and SOA will become more and more systemic to core IT infrastructure -- perhaps more than many understand who are responding to surveys, now and into the future.
As I mentioned in my last post, don't get caught up in the frenzy around buzzwords, those never last. Understand the value of the concept and how it can change things for the better. SOA is a good architectural approach and will always be a part of enterprise architecture, long after the SOA TLA has fallen off blog postings, articles, books, and conferences.