SOA and the Economy

Ok, so Brenda Michelson called me out today on a conference call that I hadn’t made any comments regarding the impact of the economy on SOA initiatives. Of course, that’s like dangling a carrot in front of my face, so I now feel obligated to at least say something.

As I’ve stated before, I consider myself to be very pragmatic. I try to avoid knee-jerk reactions to highs or low. So, the recent buzz around how the economy would impact SOA efforts was a bit of a non-event for me. Companies have always had to deal with their own performance, and adjust their budgets accordingly, and obviously, the general economy has a role in that performance. Depending on your industry, it could be large, or it could be insignificant. So, whether it’s an SOA project or any other IT project, the decision making process is still the same. The only things that have changed are the resources that are available. If we have resources to do it, do it. If you don’t, it gets put off. Now, if we’re discussing how SOA initiatives should be prioritized relative to other IT projects, it’s a different debate, and one that is independent of the current funding at hand.

The other angle on this discussion is whether or not successful SOA adoptions will help companies when their revenue streams are not what they’ve been in the past. If we come back to the marketing terms for SOA: reuse, agility, etc., I think these are all realized in the form of IT productivity and efficiency. In other words, I’m either getting more things done in the some standard time frame, or I’m reducing the time it takes to get any particular solution done in comparison to similar efforts in the past. I firmly believe that SOA should be doing this, and therefore, it’s a logical conclusion that companies that have successfully adopted SOA are in a better position to execute in an economic downturn than their competitors that haven’t. Of course, that assumes that information technology plays a key role in a business’ ability to execute and can be a competitive differentiator. There you go, Brenda!

2 Responses to “SOA and the Economy”

  • Thanks! Guess I need to finish that post on the future of applications now — think business scenarios… -brenda

  • bex:


    according to oracle, 40% of IT budgets are spent on integration.

    My personal feeling is that SOA’s main cost-value is in keeping down the costs of integration.

    so long as the SOA initiative focuses on keeping things simple… and not just making arcane SOAP wrappers to everything…

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