The Reality of SOA: Business Benefits Driven by Governance

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New Saugatuck Technology research reveals real-world user and vendor insights on services-oriented architecture adoption, business drivers and inhibitors and governance.

Services-oriented architecture (SOA) is a far greater challenge than most adopters realized when they began to adopt and deploy SOA.

Research released late last week by Saugatuck Technology indicates that rework, failed projects and immature technologies have characterized many early user enterprise SOA deployments. Moreover, users often confuse such typical project benefits as application integration with the true, longer-term benefits of SOA, such as more responsive and agile application architectures and reuse of services.

Adding to, and prolonging, most of these challenges is an overall lack of IT and SOA planning and governance. The results for users are increased complexities and costs, and dramatically reduced SOA benefits. And the results for vendors too often are frustrated and disappointed customers.

These key findings are from Saugatuck's new research report titled "SOA Reality Check: Three Waves of Adoption through 2012." Published Thursday, December 28, 2006, the full report is available for purchase and download from Saugatuck's web site at

Encompassing in-depth interviews with 40 CIOs and senior IT architects, combined with executive briefings with 12 leading SOA vendors and service providers, the report yields keen insights into what SOA really is for user enterprises and vendors -- and why neither is going to see the greatest benefits for years.

The full report includes a detailed investigation of key business drivers of, and inhibitors to, user adoption of SOA -- and how each can be overcome. This includes Saugatuck guidance to users and vendors regarding how to effectively plan for, execute, manage and optimize an SOA strategy.

"With so much hype in the market around SOA right now, there was a need for comprehensive research and guidance regarding what, exactly, is the reality of SOA -- and what users and vendors need to do in order to be successful," stated Saugatuck Vice President Mike West, lead author of the report. "Saugatuck has the unique combination of user and vendor research, as well as the deep subject matter expertise, to not only bring the current reality to light -- but to share a compelling vision for how it will evolve over the next five years."

"This report can be used as a strategic and tactical roadmap through SOA for users and vendors," added co-author Bruce Guptill, Saugatuck's managing director for research services. "We provide insight and analysis into SOA adoption and usage, as well as the most important business drivers and inhibitors - and how to develop governance that enables real-world advantages, and that reduces the costs of SOA management."

Key insights in the report include the following:

  • Saugatuck Strategic Planning Positions (SPPs) regarding user and vendor issues and activities through 2012
  • Three-phase SOA adoption scenario and timeline
  • An examination of key technological and managerial Inhibitors
  • Guidance for overcoming key Inhibitors, and for optimizing SOA benefits

About the Research

The analysis, insight and guidance in this report are based on research conducted by Saugatuck Technology from July through December 2006, including one-on-one interviews with 40 user IT and business executives, and deep-dive briefings with 12 leading IT vendors and services providers -- including BEA, BT, EDS, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software / Sonic, SAP, SOA Software, SUN Microsystems, Tibco and Unisys. All research was performed by Saugatuck Technology consultants, and funded solely by Saugatuck Technology.

Details regarding this research and summary findings can be found by visiting Saugatuck's web site at

About Saugatuck Technology

Saugatuck Technology Inc. provides research-based consulting and subscription research services to senior executives, information technology vendors, and investors, combining strategy development, business planning, and market intelligence with first-hand research of executive technology buyer trends. Founded in 1999, Saugatuck is headquartered in Westport, Connecticut (USA).

To request a briefing with our analysts, or for broader Press Inquiries, please contact Chris MacGregor, Analyst and Media Liaison, by e-mail or call (203)-454-3900.


Chris MacGregor, Saugatuck Technology


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