IBM Monday is due to officially announce the first two in a planned series of eight centres around the world designed to help build up local expertise in the service oriented architecture (SOA) approach to IT development.
The move to create so-called ‘SOA Leadership Centres’ is in response to customer demand, according to Jason Weisser, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM's SOA advance technology. While IBM has already established centres in China and India focused on developing reusable industry-specific web services, he said users would like more help with SOA education and training.
SOA is a way for organisations to both develop and manage their IT systems through reusable technologies, but trying to get that concept across to business people within a company is proving difficult for some IT departments. The centres will make SOA proof-of-concept (POC) teams available who can go to a customer and help explain the business benefits of adopting SOA and create specific proof-points for individual organisations, Weisser said.
As with other technologies, businesspeople need reassurance that SOA isn't another "flash in the pan or silver bullet" cure-all, Weisser said. They also need to see the approach working within their own organisations. From a business standpoint, SOA is much more a representation of a philosophical way of doing things so that technology doesn't present a barrier to doing business.
The centres will also work closely with local universities advising them on how to create and develop courses on SOA development. The idea is to build up and maintain a "reservoir" of SOA expertise so there are skilled people on hand to work on local SOA deployments.