Written by ZapThink Associate Analyst Tony Baer.
By now, most Information Technology (IT) organizations have become aware of the potential of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to pierce through those silos. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, implementing SOA should be an incremental, iterative process that should start modestly. Your first foray into a SOA implementation should be through a pilot project, where your organization has the opportunity to conduct an evaluation to determine whether to make further investments. The goal is gain experience while mitigating the risks. Consequently, the scope of the pilot should be limited. Choose a handful of Services that will make a difference, and that people will notice.
Governance is essential. Lacking governance, SOA projects become yet another example of undisciplined software development. As your organization becomes more experienced with SOA, it eventually learns to compose business Services bridging those silos, and gradually becomes more efficient to the point where SOA supports business processes to the point where you can continuously optimize your business.
From a starting point of point-to-point integration, organizations evolve to developing more flexible dynamic couplings that exploit far more effectively the Services that they have exposed. At that point, governance becomes essential if SOA is to evolve beyond isolated, discrete connections to support an environment where Service contracts drive development, Services become composable, and the agility that SOA promises becomes reality.