SOA : A Destination or a Journey?

I’m having a random interruption and I feel strongly enough about this point to post it in isolation.

  • Enterprise Architecture and SOA are not inextricably linked – I can form an EA vision which may rely on an implementation approach which is not SOA. SOA is a particular approach I must adopt if I have a dynamic environment, where I must constantly evolve my products, processes and IT stack, and where my agility is my market advantage. SOA is not mandatory.
  • Perfecting the process of applying Service Oriented Architecture principles to the Enterprise is the ‘goal’. I am emphasising SOA in the Enterprise as opposed to SOA at an application level which is trivial by comparison. Getting agreed SOA principles into the organisational DNA is the holy-grail. Once our vision and our ability to execute is in lock-step, what do we care about changes in the vision?
  • ‘Finishing’ the Enterprise SOA transformation is NOT the goal…if it were the goal then why all the focus on re-use, agility, insulation from wolverines and all the defensive positioning around SOA? The goal is to equip the enteprise with the IT capability to support it’s evolving business model, and if there was a finite end-state then I would question the value of such a large investment.
  • There may be a series of functional snapshots at which point the SOA is fulfilling transient business needs, but the underlying SOA infrastructure continues to evolve, refine and take on additional business requirements as a matter of course.
  • Enabling the business transformation, and ensuring the IT estate is capable of continually adapting is the goal and the one and only reason we should be embarking on large scale SOA programmes.

Pack for the journey, not the destination…you’re intention is to travel…oh and make sure you don’t delegate the navigation (or worse – pay someone by the hour to do it for you!!!)…keep hold of the map!”


One Response to SOA : A Destination or a Journey?

  1. […] Despite many posts out there in the blogosphere that make it clear that SOA is an ethos (or even a journey) rather than a technology I’m still amazed at the level of misunderstanding that still […]

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