Comparing current financial crisis to SOA

Comparing the current financial crisis with SOA was one of the topics we briefly discussed at the Community of Practice working group of the SOA Consortium. Following are some of my thoughts on this topic:
  • The current financial crisis is based on a flawed foundation - the sub-prime mortgages
  • Investment bankers and mortgage companies composed new and complex derivatives and resold them all across the globe - all in the name of new and investment models
  • Most of the executives of the involved companies as well as government agencies reviewed some of the aspect of the new world and based on what they knew then - thought it was all OK.
  • No one seriously took time to review the potential business risk and take corrective action before it was too late
  • The investments were so interdependent which made it impossible to understand the implications or the impact of letting one service fail. Example: The is no rational on why Lehman Brother was allowed to fail? and why AIG was rescued?

...and we see the result today. Doesn't this sound familiar?

Following are my recommendation on how to make sure that our SOA adoption does not take the same path (some will).

  • Make sure that all SOA adoption is based on sound business and technical foundation. Adopt and make sure to document the business architecture (design) and develop a technology road map (architecture) to meet these goals.
  • Do not hype and push rapid adoption without thinking through the life cycle .
  • Ensure that there is proper governance around your SOA Adoption - over communicate and be a bit more conservative on the risks.
  • It is not necessary to adopt SOA for all implementations - I would rather then to recommend that one makes sure that some of critical business capabilities (applications) are provided (build) using the traditional model.
  • Do not depend on services that are more than two level deeper (Reference: SOA Theorem #4: Service Hierarchy should not exceed more than three levels ). This is to ensure that you understand each of the services and their performance which will help you take corrective action, if required.

These are just some of my initial thoughts and as usual please do feel free to drop me line with your comments and/or feedback.

- Yogish

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