Gartner: Big drop in plans to adopt SOA

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of organisations planning to adopt service-oriented architecture (SOA) for the first time, since the beginning of this year, according to a survey by analyst firm Gartner.

The number was cut by more than half, down to 25 per cent from 53 per cent in 2007, while those with no plans to adopt SOA more than doubled from 6 per cent in 2007 to 16 per cent in 2008.

Most large organisations are moving ahead with SOA, but a growing number are deferring plans.

According to the survey, 53 per cent of the respondents were already using SOA. Another 25 per cent were not using it but had plans to do so in the next 12 months, and 16 per cent had no plans to use SOA at all.

Gartner conducted a series of surveys in the middle of this year about the adoption, use, benefits of and practices for SOA. This included a sample of more than 200 companies worldwide with more than 1,000 employees.

Lagging in Asia

The survey found that the adoption of SOA and the plans to do so vary widely by region. Overall, SOA adoption is lagging in Asia, moderate in North America and nearly universal in Europe. In Asia, adoption is less than half of that in other regions, and most organisations are not planning to pursue SOA within the next 12 months.

Gartner found that the highest concentrations of organisations not pursuing SOA and having no plans to do so are in process manufacturing and agriculture and mining.

Overall, the two major reasons that organisations choose for not pursuing SOA are a lack of skills and expertise, and no viable business case.

“Organisations without a clear business case for SOA and without a plan to develop or acquire the necessary skills are justified in taking a cautious approach, and delaying SOA adoption plans for the coming year,” said Daniel Sholler, research vice president at Gartner. “The focus should be on creating shared services and the governance processes necessary for sharing within a reasonable domain. Larger organisations (more than 5,000 employees) are challenged to create enterprise governance.”

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