SOA plans crumble in tightening economy

The number of organisations planning to implement SOA has halved in the last 12 months according to research from Gartner.

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The number of organisations planning to implement SOA has halved in the last 12 months according to research from Gartner.

Organisations looking to adopt SOA for the first time have also fallen from 53 percent to 27 percent, according to Gartner’s fifth annual global SOA survey.

The survey found Europe is leading the way in SOA adoption, with near universal uptake, followed by North America, with Asia lagging, Gartner said.

Commenting on the apparent set back for SOA revealed in this year’s survey, Dan Sholler, research vice president at Gartner, said "What we're seeing is that there are a bunch of organisations [that] for a variety of reasons don't expect to be doing anything specific about SOA next year," Sholler said.

This year's survey saw a decline in the growth rate for SOA, he stressed. Overall, organisations expect to be doing fewer projects next year, with the economy contributing to that to a degree, Sholler said. Organisations also may be doing fewer things for which SOA applies, he said.

A growing number of large organisations are deferring plans to utilise SOA, the study found. Fifty-three percent of respondents already were using SOA. Meanwhile, 20 percent of respondents were building event-driven architectures and 20 percent had plans to do so in the next 12 months.

Use of modern programming environments is closely associated with SOA, Gartner said.

This suggests that more organisations are focusing on SOA in the context of new developments that use Java, Microsoft .Net, and dynamic languages like Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby. Organisations must ponder options when applying SOA in legacy programming environments because skills in blending the two likely will be scarce, Gartner said.

Gartner also said the number of organisations already pursuing SOA shows a massive change in the future perception of SOA, from something that is essentially inevitable for all organisations in a short time to a situation where many organisations evaluated SOA and have chosen not to spend time and effort on it.

The two major reasons organisations choose for not pursuing SOA are lack of skills and expertise and no viable business case. There is confusion about constructing a business case for SOA, Gartner said.

Gartner conducted surveys between May and July 2008 about the adoption, use, benefits of, and practices for SOA. An initial sample of more than 200 companies worldwide with more than 1,000 employees was included. Three subsequent phases of the study involved surveying attendees at Gartner conferences related to SOA. A total of 119 respondents were involved in these subsequent surveys.

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