Don't waste a good crisis when selling SOA

Sometimes it pays to leverage the negative

Budgets are declining and continue to do so, and indeed many larger organizations are in crisis. While many use this downturn as an opportunity to do less and to lay people off, you may want to use this as an opportunity to do SOA. Let me explain.

With contracting budgets, the cry for more effective and efficient IT resources is made from the boardroom on down. The years of neglect toward enterprise architecture has left many enterprises with IT resources that are difficult to expand and change, adjusting to changes in the business -- and business is clearly changing these days. Thus, this is a clear opportunity to make the business case for SOA, once you're able to find and explain the ROI to those in charge.

[ How do you keep your IT projects on line and your career moving forward during tight times? Here are InfoWorld's six ways to save your IT project from the scrap heap ]

Truth be told, it's times like these when people do things that are positively disruptive -- in a good way. It's a good time to drive past those who have been blocking change until now and get to those who see that desperate times call for desperate measures. And perhaps it's time to get serious about making IT more effective, which means getting serious about SOA.

So, what do you do?

First, understand all IT issues, including what's working and what's not.

Second, create an ROI model that defines the long-term benefits of SOA.

Third, propose a series of tactical SOA projects that have good ROIs unto themselves, and contribute to moving the SOA strategy forward.

Finally, push for speed.

Several of my clients are doing just these steps and have made a great deal of progress. Don't let a good crisis go to waste.