SOA adoption causing culture shock

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SOA adoption causing culture shock

The successful adoption of service oriented architectures (SOAs) requires a change in corporate culture, IBM warned at its Impact 2007 conference in Orlando, US.

Culture changes are warranted because SOAs span the business and IT sides of an organisation. The components typically have separate budgets and therefore interests.

SOAs offer a platform to develop and deploy componentised applications, allowing firms to build a capability such as single sign-on or currency conversion and reuse it across several applications.

Having componentised building blocks also makes it easier to craft software, allowing for changes to be made on-the-fly to make a process more efficient or add functionality.

SOAs undercut the way developers are rewarded because they require less code to be written. And because componentised applications yield the biggest savings for business, developers do not often lack an incentive to embrace the technology.

"The hardest thing [about SOAs] is the cultural change where you align the IT and business capabilities. You have to get over the 'It may not be my budget, but it's still the right way to spend the company's money' [argument]," said Tom Rosamilia, IBM's general manager for WebSphere software.

"The best code is code not written. That makes a lot of sense to us, but that may not make sense to the developer who thinks that writing more code is better. "

Culture changes can be relatively straightforward. One company succeeded in motivating its developers to reuse code by promising a US$10,000 (A$12,000)reward to the developer who could demonstrate the most code reuse.
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