Top 10 Reasons Why People are Making SOA Fail

SOA is not something you buy, it is something you do. Research shows us that very few companies are doing it well. But the reasons for so many failures are usually people issues, not technology issues.

By Mike Kavis
Fri, July 18, 2008
Page 5

Then there is run-time governance. This is where you proactively manage the health of your production SOA environment. Run-time governance allows you to see what services are being consumed, enforce policies and SLAs, troubleshoot, analyze performance and manage all assets. Don't think that once you deploy that you are done. Managing a distributed environment is not a task to be taken lightly.

Recommendation: Treat governance as a fully funded initiative that runs alongside of your SOA implementation. There should be a dedicated team (which usually lives within Enterprise Architecture) with its own road map and long term vision. Don't try to implement governance overnight. This is a journey; it will take several years to reach a high level of maturity. As your governance matures, so does your SOA. Invest in a registry, repository and service management tools. You also need new testing tools to test governance.

10. They let the vendors drive the architecture.

Ron Schmelzer at Zapthink coined the term Vendor-Driven Architecture (VDA). Relying too much on vendors can be a disaster. The vendors' goal is to sell you as much stuff as possible. Your goal is to implement SOA successfully and to provide your company with maximum benefits at minimal cost. Do you see the conflict of interest?

Also, the vendors promise flawless integration if you purchase all of your tools within their stack. The reality is, they have purchased so many products from other companies that their stacks do not deliver any better integration than if you bought the tools from a variety of vendors.

Recommendation: Figure out what you need before you talk to the vendors. Perform a very thorough vendor evaluation process. When you narrow it down to a few vendors, have them come on site to perform a proof of concept for which you provide the requirements. Watch them execute on it before your very own eyes. This is where the vendors can no longer hide behind pretty PowerPoint slides; it can prevent you from making a colossal mistake. Do your homework. Read blogs from practitioners, talk to consulting firms who use the tools, talk to other companies that have implemented SOA and talk to vendor references. Do not take any short cuts; you will have to live with the decisions you make.

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