A not so recent report on end-user adoption of SOA by Saugatuck Technology makes interesting reading; especially if one shares my misgivings about the Industries' ongoing Web Services mantra.
I found the following extracts particulary enlightening:
"... it became clear that many ( early SOA adopters) are merely managing a collection of Web services, and have yet to make a strong commitment to SOA as a management discipline — as opposed to an integration technology."
"... ironically whilst 57% of end users cited cost reduction as the primary driver for the adoption of SOA, no evidence was found for short-term operational cost savings, though longer term cost savings were expected".
"only 23% of adopters expected to increase business agility from their SOA any time soon."
So wrapping an existing business service to create a Web Service has no immediate effect on either operational costs or system agility?
Well, I'll be damned!
But why the suprise?
In reality, the Web Services revolution had little to do with making enterprise business systems more agile or robust. Rather Web Services enable existing monolithic, and operationally brittle and expensive services, to be delivered through corporate firewall infrastructure. This allowing for the potential of service outsourcing or the use of alternative White Labled or ASP type services; these service delivery models of great interest to the giants in the IT industry.
Hence, for those that rely on a "wrap it, and make it a Web Service" - cost reduction, resilience and agility benefits will most like remain elusive/unobtainable goals.
To achieve these objectives, one needs to radically re-think one's approach to enterprise IT ;)