Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Need for SOA in the Real World

To those who think SOA is just hype, this should be a sobering piece of news from the real world:

ANZ Bank hits a wall on financial software rollout

Sources have told The Australian that the bank is having second thoughts about going ahead with installing a Teradata solution made up of enterprise data-warehousing and database software into a predominantly Oracle-run house.
"It just doesn't marry well with the rest of the organisation as it's an Oracle house," one source said.
Anyone see the problem here?

Why should the brand of software being introduced have anything to do with a decision to implement? We in IT tend to treat this sort of argument as perfectly reasonable. Of course software from one vendor won't play nicely with software from another! We've internalised the obscenity of the situation. That's what makes this more horror than farce. We don't see the lack of interoperability between vendors as a problem, merely as a constraint.

Well, SOA thinking would have challenged this right off the bat. The brand of existing software and new software just doesn't matter. What matters is business functionality. As long as it's all wrapped up in contract-based services, they should play well together.

But we obviously don't live in that world. We live in a world where a strange kind of Stockholm Syndrome grips customers, preventing them from asserting their rights and causing them to acquiesce in a patently unfair seller's market. The "pragmatic" decisions that then follow create vendor lock-in and much higher outflows in the long run. So much for pragmatism.

What this news item tells me is that not only is the software vendor world not SOA-friendly, the business user community doesn't think in SOA terms either.

More's the pity.

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