Research: SOA Spending Set to Double in 2008

Newresearch out this week shows that the use of service oriented architecture(SOA) is mushrooming within the typical business environment as organizationsbegin to utilize the SOA ecosystem to cut down on the difficulty of changingapplication systems to support changes in the business.

Thegrowth of SOA expanded by 100 percent last year and companies who did deployspent an average of $1.4 million on SOA projects in 2007 according to a studyreleased by AMR Research this week.

In aninterview with Baseline, the report?s author, Ian Finley, predictedthat 2008 could see enterprises funneling enough funds into SOA projects todouble SOA spending by year?s end.

?Themarket is beginning to shift from it being dominated by first timers to peoplewho have done their first project and are now trying to ramp up,? said Finley,who is research director for AMR. ?I think that we’re going to see the dollarsgo up significantly as a result of that big slug of people who have just donetheir first project. We could see it double by the end of next year.?

Finley?sreport showed that many 2007 early adopters of SOA primarily implemented itthrough one-off pilot projects as a way to prove its usefulness in developmentof business applications and processes. For the most part, these tests weresuccessful enough for most of these organizations to make plans to expand theuse of SOA in the next year.

?Whatwe’ve seen in the early adopters, once they get comfortable with the first project,then they get enthusiastic and they want to use it in much more of the total ITworkflow,? Finley said.

Accordingto analysts at Gartner, SOA was used in more than 50 percent of large, newapplications and business processes in 2007. Gartner believes that by 2010 morethan 80 percent of large, new systems will use SOA in at least some part oftheir design.

Asorganizations begin to use SOA more prolifically throughout their environmentsthis year, Finley believes that they will encounter a few unique challengesthey may not have needed to contend with during limited use of these services.

?When youget to the second and the third and the fourth project you won?t have 10 peopledoing SOA, you?ll have 20 or 30 or 50, and then all of sudden you?ll realize,?Wait a minute. I need to somehow have a process for deciding what servicesshould be built and what services should be used and who is going to take careof those services if  I build a servicefor a particular project and run it to solve a particular business problem,??he said. ?If somebody comes along and starts using it for a new project, who ispaying for that? And who gets to decide how we’re going to change it to make itbetter??

Researchreleased by Gartner last month showed that some enterprises are alreadystruggling with the reuse of services developed for specific businessprocesses.

?Some companies have beendisappointed by the low level of service sharing ("reuse") that theyhave achieved. Some SOA projects have failed for a variety of reasons,including unclear objectives, lack of coordination between business unitsimplementing SOA in isolation from each other and spending too much timemodeling interfaces without delivering working systems,? wrote Charles Abramsand Roy Schulte in the Gartner paper. ?Nevertheless, the majority of SOAprojects succeed, and most companies that have started using SOA continue withit and expand their use of it.?

Finleypredicts that the issue of SOA governance to streamline SOA projects as theybecome more common within organizations will become increasingly important thisyear. Additionally, he believes that organizations that decide to throwthemselves into SOA full-force this year will need to make important decisionsabout what technology will support their SOA efforts.

?Folks will have to choose a technology path.Through a lot of your early SOA efforts you can choose whatever is cheap andeasy because all you are doing is dipping your toe in the water, but then ifyou start saying ?Lets do this as a corporate standard and get everyoneinvolved and build this new architecture out around this technology over thenext 10 to 15 years,? suddenly everyone has got stakes in what technology getschosen to do that,? Finley says.