Does SOA mean software-oriented agility?

What was previously very bad just got a whole lot worse. Last year, everyone was talking about a downturn. Now the word is recession.

It’s an important difference: the downturn might have been a temporary blip, but the recession is likely to be prolonged and deep.

With financial budgets likely to be constrained, your options are likely to be limited and meeting business needs is likely to be tougher than ever. So do you want to engineer a way out of the recession?

Your first port of call should be software-oriented architecture, a system for linking resources on-demand that allows you to re-use existing components in new and exciting combinations.

Sounds good – but IT captains steering the choppy waves of the recession should avoid simply dropping anchor at SOA.

The word ‘architecture’ in SOA suggests a once-and-for model; an all-encompassing method for matching user needs with computing resources. If only it was that it easy.

The fast pace of economic and business change means your model for technology use will have to be adapted. It means service-orientation should be seen as no more than a initial destination that helps you work your IT resources smarter and more effectively.

Instead, successful IT departments and successful SOA strategies will be agile, able to respond to changing business demands as quickly and easily as possible.

SOA should be more usefully viewed as software-oriented agility, a flexible way to meet business needs in a time of increasing financial prudence.

Agile software development methodologies promote reflection, inspection and adaptation. Its inherent practices encourage business and IT alignment, providing a snug fit with the re-use principles of software-oriented architecture.

Which means you can start to breath easily again. The recession will provide constraints but IT leaders that adopt software-oriented agility are likely to be best prepared.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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