The SOA Payoff

By Allan Alter Print this article Print

Services-oriented architecture and Web services meet most users' expectations but aren't cutting costs as hoped, our survey of business-technology leaders reveals.

The metaphor of "services" lies at the heart of one of the world's most ballyhooed trends: using service-oriented architecture and Web services to integrate applications, automated processes and data.

In accordance with our version of Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion—for every lionized technical trend there should be an equal and skeptical reality check—we're tracked and probed these trends in previous articles and studies. But we haven't devoted an entire research survey to SOA and Web services until now.

Our May 2006 Emerging Technology study found an extraordinarily high satisfaction rate with Web services (90 percent) and SOA (86 percent). This month's Web services and SOA Survey goes deeper; we've delved into why companies turn to Web services and SOA and whether their expectations are met. We found SOA and Web services almost always aid process improvement, enable process innovation and foster information integration; in many cases they do not meet all expectations. These technologies prove less successful at reducing costs and promoting software re-use. Still, SOA and Web services do well enough that companies are upgrading or replacing a wide range of applications to take advantage of them.

Read the full story on cioinsight.com: The SOA Payoff

This article was originally published on 2007-07-12
Executive Editor

Allan Alter has been a specialist on information technology management, strategy and leadership for many years. Most recently, he was editor-in-chief and the director of new content development for the MIT Sloan Management Review. He has been a columnist and department editor at Computerworld, where he won three awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors. Previously he was a special projects editor, senior editor and senior writer for CIO magazine. Earlier, Alter was an associate editor for Mass High Tech. He has edited two books: The Squandered Computer: Evaluating the Business Alignment of Business Technologies and Redesigning the Firm.

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