26 Nov 2012

SOA Continues to Thrive in the Cloud Era

One of the business processes that many people have started to think was outdated and not needed anymore in this new era of cloud computing is services-oriented architecture. However, as we talked about previously, SOA is essential to employing integrated cloud services.

There are still many developers, and vendors, who have shied away from SOA and look to alternatives that are clunky, bulky and do not deliver the type of architecture that services need on a wide scale of operations. Cloud computing, a type of process that is still in its infancy and being worked out by IT departments for many uses, has started to grab the attention of many as it makes a home in the consumer market.

Not A Product But A Process

It is important to understand that SOA is not a product. There is no one size fits all when it comes to implementing this type of process into your business. In fact, SOA is more like a framework of ideas and strategies that are also discoverable and ideally event-producing or event-driven. Because of this, the way that it fits into cloud computing is seamless.

Economics of Cloud Integration

The biggest reason that people do not look to SOA within their structure is that it is not an actual product. There is a motivational need for many IT departments to integrate a process that can be tweaked to fit. What is not desired are strategies are sold in the form of consulting and training. Investors don’t like consulting and training because you can’t really build a multi-billion-dollar company on consulting and training. The industry likes licenses and subscriptions.

The problem with this is that many businesses want to keep their departments separated without a lot of communication between them. This takes more training, time, and money that does not lead to a bottom line. But, a paradigm change must take place in order for each department to share data. For that, you need both vision and hard-nosed, hands-on management. You need a corporate structure that supports that vision. In other words, you can’t really buy a SOA product and achieve SOA through purchasing alone.

Long Live SOA in Cloud Computing

The battle cry of SOA strategies ran out of steam awhile ago. There just isn’t the big demand for this type of customized process as the trend moves towards cloud computing and maintaining data. The problem that is often overlooked is that the cloud solves none of the integration problems that are common within large systems. The cloud will not stop silo computing as the predominant industry standard. In fact, abundant commodity computing power may yield a bigger mess.

While it is possible to purchase a cloud solution from a private, or public, vendor, you will still need an overall strategy for integrating all of your data and logic. SOA is that key strategy. The economic factors of not using it vastly outweighs the struggles of communication between departments.

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