Business case 'elusive' as SOA gathers pace

Firms are struggling to make a business case for service oriented architectures, but with SAP and Oracle planning to build their next-generation application suites on the technology, users could be pushed into SOA adoption.

Firms are struggling to make a business case for service oriented architectures, but with SAP and Oracle planning to build their next-generation application suites on the technology, users could be pushed into SOA adoption.

This view was highlighted at a Corporate IT Forum SOA workshop earlier this month. Ollie Ross, research manager at the user group, said, “The challenge [for users] is finding a hook to get immediate business value.”

She said the benefits of SOA arise from the ability to reuse code and apply existing work to other areas of the business.

The workshop heard that SOA was being over-complicated by too many interrelated standards, which could lead to SOA users becoming locked into a particular technology.

A report by Forrester Research said forthcoming changes to Oracle and SAP applications would see features exposed via web services and built using transaction management and workflow patterns. Users of these products could no longer adopt a wait and see approach to SOA and would need an SOA strategy, it said.

However, Ross said, “A lot of groundwork needs to be done in order for IT directors to sell SOA into the business.”

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