Financial firms running ‘hybrid SOA’

Financial services companies are running service orientated architecture (SOA) in parallel with their legacy systems to avoid system failures as they move towards full SOA implementations.

Financial services companies are running service orientated architecture (SOA) in parallel with their legacy systems to avoid system failures as they move towards full SOA implementations.

As margins decrease and industry consolidation continues, all companies in the sector will eventually move to pure SOA architectures, according to James Wolstenholme, research director of financial services at analyst firm Gartner.

"You consolidate systems, you consolidate processes, make them more efficient, and you can increase volumes of trades while maintaining existing overheads," said Wolstenholme, speaking at the Gartner Financial Services Summit in London last week.

Pure SOA from the bottom up is still five to 10 years away in financial services, but all financial services companies are linking SOA systems to legacy systems through messaging technology.

"This is not true SOA, but using programming interfaces and middleware messaging software to communicate with legacy systems," said Wolstenholme.

This slow progression will help firms plan their migration to SOA carefully and avoid "catastrophic failures".

He said organisations are taking this approach because market dynamics have changed. "Systems in the past were built on short durations of change expecting long periods of stability, but this has changed," he said.

He said investment banks, brokers and asset managers are all moving to pure SOA to reduce costs as the financial remuneration for their services reduces.

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