Big Issue in SOA

By Doug Bartholomew  |  Posted 2007-09-24 Print this article Print

Early users say control, trust are key concerns—a peek at what Avis and Comcast are doing.

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Big Issue in SOA: Trust

Yet another obstacle to greater SOA acceptance and use is trust. For many CIOs and IT managers, the notion of blindly adopting software created by other business groups and technology users is hard to swallow. "The reuse of code requires trust," said Sheppard Narkier, vice president and head of portfolio management in the corporate and investment banking technology group at Wachovia Corp., Charlotte, N.C.

"You need a marketplace mentality where knowledge is the trusted currency, and that is going to require a paradigm shift in thinking," Narkier added. "You're going to be using software that as a manager, you didn't build and you didn't buy."

While many companies are trying out the technology with a SOA project or two, some admit they have yet to show positive results for their efforts. "We're past the pilot stage, but it's still too early to show results," said Terren Peterson, senior director of enterprise platforms at Capital One's operations unit in Richmond, Va.

Some Tips For SOA Success

  • Don't wait until everything is perfect to start a SOA project, just get started. "The number of people who wanted it to be perfect is the No. 1 challenge you face with a SOA project," said Dan Tolley, engineering director in information systems and global services at Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Build a prototype first. Show some success before trying to transform the entire business with a new IT architecture.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes. "Failure is an option and a way to learn," Tolley advised.
  • Use the work of others. Lockheed Martin leveraged the definitions of service types and domains already available in a document called the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework for its SOA project.
  • Make sure you know who the authority or owner of the data is. "Understanding your data owner is the one fundamental that will make this whole process easier and faster," Tolley said.

Related articles in Baseline: SOA: Improving Ties to Business Partners

Comments to: douglas.bartholomew@ziffdavis.com

Doug Bartholomew is a career journalist who has covered information technology for more than 15 years. A former senior editor at IndustryWeek and InformationWeek, his freelance features have appeared in New York magazine and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He has a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University.

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