Only a minority of enterprises have adopted service oriented architecture (SOA), despite the hype suurrounding it, new research has found.
Most firms that do use SOA do so only within specific departments or projects, rather than throughout a company, the research from consultancy Saugatuck Technology says.
SOA, as a way of connecting applications across a network via a common communications protocol, can enable enterprises to reuse software and create flexible business processes. But high up-front costs and confusion about what SOA actually is have led to concerns among businesses considering this approach to building IT systems.
The Saugatuck research said: "While there are a few outstanding examples of enterprise SOA deployment – the fact that they are outstanding indicates how few examples there are."
Over a third (37%) of senior IT executives interviewed by Saugatuck last year said they were deploying SOA, at least on a limited basis. But it found that many were only managing a collection of web services and had not committed to SOA as a management discipline rather than as an integration technology.
SOA should be deployed enterprise-wide and have governance to define roles, responsibilities and processes, said Saugatuck vice president Michael West. "You can't just have pockets of SOA, that doesn't get you what you're going for," he said. "It's kind of an all or nothing activity."