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It seems that pundit predictions are mandatory this time of year, so I'll not be an exception. So, here are my SOA predictions for 2008.
- IBM will purchase one big SOA company and one small SOA company. You got to hand it to IBM, they are mixing one hell of a SOA cocktail and 2008 will mean more stocking up on ingredients. Figure one large deal, perhaps a publicly traded company, and one or more small deals, perhaps less than $100 million. Not game changing, but very interesting.
- More SOA projects will highlight a lack of qualified SOA talent. The more SOA projects that move forward, the more smart people they will need. The demand for "SOA proven" architects will increase sharply, and most positions will be tough to fill with quality players. Thus, the need for training will also rise sharply.
- SOA and "traditional" enterprise architecture will continue to merge. Not sure why they were ever apart, but existing enterprise architecture best practices will continue to incorporate SOA approaches and techniques. The best indication of this is the existing enterprise architecture standards bodies, such as the Open Group, rolling out more methods and approaches for SOA.
- Resources on the new Web will drive many enterprises towards SOA. If you want to make your enterprise work and play well with emerging resources on the Web, you need to build a SOA. Let's face it, many of the core business processes are going to move outside of the firewall, and the ability to leverage those services is going to be a key business driver going forward.
- The press will highlight huge SOA failures. There are a lot of people doing a lot of dumb things out there, and when a few of them blow up the press and bloggers will be right there to report on it. Typically, the huge SOA failures will be around those enterprises that "invested" in technology before they understood their own core architectural issues. Bad move. Learn from their mistakes.
- Large consulting organizations will continue not to get SOA. Acting as channels for large technology companies, and thinking far too much around "quick fixes," many large consulting organizations will continue to miss the boat on SOA, and thus will facilitate many of the huge SOA failures I just mentioned. Seems to be a pattern to send in the senior talent to sell a project, and then parachute in the kiddies. Not a good mix when you're driving a strategic change to your IT resources…you need the best of the best.
Let's see if I'm right. I thought I was wrong once, but I turned out to be wrong. :-) Happy holidays and a happy new year.