Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Can Small to Medium Sized Enterprises Benefit from SOA?

Big companies with big IT staffs are often the first to realize the benefits of IT projects like SOA. But what about small to medium-sized companies with a much smaller and often overworked IT staff? How do they stand to benefit from SOA in these tough times?

The primary benefit of an SOA to small and medium sized businesses (SMB) is exactly the same as it is for a large sized company - business and IT alignment. In other words, the value potential of an SOA, as an architectural style, is not tied to the size of a company. Having said that, the next question that might come to mind is "Are SMBs ready for an SOA?" They absolutely should be ready and my guess is that if they think they are not then it's probably because they have been misguided as to what SOA really is. SOA is not about Web Services and the hundreds of associated WS-* standards; nor is it about deploying a mandatory Enterprise Service Bus and encapsulating every single business interaction as a BPEL workflow. SOA is not about technology; it's about optimizing your business by aligning your IT capabilities with your current and anticipated business needs. Once you abstract all that technology out and think about SOA with your business hat on, you'll quickly see that SMBs have as much to gain with SOA as any other sized company.

* Originally posted on ebizQ's SOA Forum on May 7, 2009.

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