Making SOA work

Four companies explain how they met the challenge of implementing service-oriented architecture

Implementing SOA (service-oriented architecture) is one of the most daunting projects that an enterprise IT organization can undertake. Service orientation represents a whole new way of thinking and doing, one that changes the way developers operate and interact with the business.

I spoke with IT managers from four companies about their experiences implementing SOA, and each story was different. For British American Tobacco, developing a measured, step-by-step approach was crucial. For Sabre Holdings, the unique nature of its IT environment presented the key challenge. Thomson Prometric learned that personnel and training were essential to success, whereas Verizon’s efforts took off only after it developed incentives for business units to adopt SOA.

Industry best practices are beginning to emerge, so there’s still no easy recipe for SOA success. But as these stories show, success is within reach, provided companies remain focused on their unique business needs.