The main advantage of SOAs, which focus on application integration, is to reduce operational costs for the business as a whole, rather than cut the cost of running and supporting IT systems.
"SOA does not necessarily bring costs down on the systems estate," said Worth.
The Prudential used an SOA based on BEA Weblogic in its 4Front project, which joined 20 different systems to allow customer service agents to view a customer's entire portfolio.
Using an SOA reduced training costs for customer service staff, since they now use fewer interfaces, said Worth.
The system has led to fewer customer complaints. It has also allowed customer data, such as changes in address, to be captured once and disseminated to other products in the portfolio.
The Prudential is looking to extend this approach to build a single valuation engine that will allow call centre staff to give customers the value of different kinds of investment without switching application.