SOA still kicking, says Forrester

Despite several recent claims that SOA (service-oriented architecture) initiatives have fallen off the radar following the economic crisis, SOA penetration is stronger than ever, says Forrester Research.

The analyst firm’s study of 2000 ITdecisions makers, ranging from small companies to global corporations with over 20,000 employees, found that two thirds expect to be using SOA by the end of 2009 while 60% of those currently using it are expanding their usage.

Almost a quarter of current SOA users said the concept had delivered most of the benefits they had anticipated, while 36% said the software architecture had delivered enough to justify further adoption. Only 1% said they had seen little or no benefit.

“SOA is clearly beyond the stage of being a toy to try on a few scattered projects,” says Forrester analyst Randy Heffner, pointing out that 22% of users now apply SOA practices to over a quarter of their solution delivery projects.

Speculation over SOA’s decline was, he said, “like yelling ‘fire!’” in a crowded theatre.

“Everyone is a bit jittery these days and many are looking for costs to cut and scapegoats to blame,” Heffner explained. “The environment is ripe for poor analysis and obfuscation, and anything that is not well understood is fair game. Getting SOA right takes careful thought and hard work, and so it becomes a prime target in this type of climate.”

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