Survey shows SOA still not widely understood

Most business managers have little or no understanding of service oriented architecture (SOA) and the benefits it can bring, according to a survey over 100 UK companies by PMP Research.

Most business managers have little or no understanding of service oriented architecture (SOA) and the benefits it can bring, according to a survey over 100 UK companies by PMP Research.

The majority of respondents said business had "little understanding" (42%) or "none at all" (16%). Only 10% think the business understood SOA "quite well" and 22% thought there was a "medium amount" of knowledge.

The research showed SOA was still far from providing a common language for business and IT, but consolidation and integration of disparate information systems was still a major challenge for 88% of companies, with many companies looking to SOA to help design more modular and flexible IT systems.

Some 31% of the companies interviewed said they had started to design and implement systems based on SOA principles with a further 16% in the planning stage.

However, the research report said this still left a significant number of companies who were yet to embark on this route, with 16% planning to look at it in the future and 23% having no plans to use SOA.

Ensuring that SOA practices are followed throughout the organisation is seen as a key challenge by 73% of the companies, followed by defining and creating appropriate SOA services (60%), which is related to the difficulty of defining business requirements and processes accurately, also mentioned by 60% of respondents.

Cost-justifying a move to SOA is also seen as a problem by nearly half the respondents (49%) and the difficulty of managing a mix of third-party suppliers is cited by 42%. System security was also a cause of concern for 29% of companies.

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