Enterprise Software

Forrester: Only one percent have negative experience with SOA

A new Forrester Research survey of IT executives finds that only one percent of current SOA adopters say they have received little or no benefit from the methodology. Sixty percent said they have seen some benefits.

This is a guest post from Joe McKendrick of TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Joe on his ZDNet blog Service Oriented, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

A new Forrester Research survey of 2,227 IT executives finds that only one percent of current SOA adopters say they have received little or no benefit from the methodology -- that's right, only one percent. Sixty percent said they have seen some benefits.

The survey, conducted while the global economy was in its recent trough (December 2008-February 2009), found that 75% of IT executives and technology decision-makers at Global 2000 organizations said they will be using SOA by the end of 2009.

In addition, 60% of current SOA users are expanding their use of SOA. There appear to have been very few disappointments with a service-oriented approach. About 24% of current SOA users say that it has "delivered most or all of the benefits they expected," and 36% say that it has "delivered enough of what they expected to justify expanding their SOA adoption." Only one percent of current SOA users say they have "seen little or no benefit" and are cutting back on SOA efforts.

These results are very good news indeed for SOA proponents. Of course, there's still plenty of work that needs to be done. At last week's SOA Summit, Forrester's John Rymer also talked about the study, noting that 36% saw benefits, but they were still on the weak side. He said that SOA success requires organizational-level adoption, and the "technical tooling is not at that level.... to get the big benefits, we have to start to invest not only in tooling, but also in the organization."

SOA adoption and acceptance is also far lower among smaller organizations -- the threshold seems to be at 1,000 employees.

Forrester's Randy Heffner, author of the study, says SOA is making a big difference for organizations, calling the recent 'SOA is Dead' discussion "quite misguided." He adds: "No prior industry initiative for IT architecture has had an impact as positive and broad reaching as service-oriented architecture." In fact, a sizeable number of respondents, 30%, appear to see SOA for all it can be -- a vehicle for strategic business transformation.


If you use a Three Letter Acronym (TLA) in the title of a piece, could you please spell out the words the first time it is used? It helps those of us who are trying to learn things outside of our current realm of experience. And thank you for the excellent links following the article. I found the definition there.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I notice very few people wearing odd socks had their SOA go wrong...... A glaring ommision from all that bollocks as well, cost....

Justin James
Justin James

It is no stretch of the imagination that only 1% of people would see "little or no benefit" to SOA. Doesn't meant that their ROI ever materialized. And it certainly is not the same thing as "having a negative experience with SOA." I've had extremely negative experiences with many things that had *some* benefit. As usual, McKendrick is allowing his infatuation with SOA to warp his perception. J.Ja

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