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Obstacles to SOA transition

In the expert response, Thomas Erl discusses some of the major challenges to wide-spread SOA adoption.

Proprietary technologies aside, what are some of the major challenges to wide-spread SOA adoption?

Some of the greatest obstacles to a successful SOA transition are associated with cultural and organizational issues....

Successfully propagating service-orientation across an enterprise imposes requirements, such as the disciplined application of open industry technology standards as well as the consistent usage of internal design standards.

The latter of these is often met with resistance as it imposes constraints and rules as to how services need to be developed and reused, usually imposing standardized processes as well. Getting all groups within a larger IT division on board in support of an SOA initiative can be challenging in the absence of a highly authoritative champion.

Furthermore, the governance demands introduced by large-scale service delivery can be overwhelming to say the least. The impact of establishing a governance platform capable of properly evolving an ever-growing service portfolio can go well beyond the enhancements required to technology infrastructure and runtime environments. The organizational structure of an IT division can be transformed as the need for new roles and processes increases in response to critical IT asset ownership requirements.

This was last published in May 2006

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