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Do not try to sell business partners on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) because it is a good technical idea: it does not work. IT can help build a case for SOA – but leaders on the business side ultimately need to make that case. SOA is an initiative that, much like outsourcing, should be driven by the business with cooperation from IT.

So how does an IT professional hold a conversation on SOA with a business stakeholder?

  • Separate fact from fiction with SOA truths that will cut through the false promises often espoused by vendors.
  • Highlight the business challenges that can be solved by SOA, and the long-term benefits to business and IT.
  • Convey the importance of a SOA governance body, empowered from the very beginning to provide structure, value, and accountability for the investment.

When asked for an elevator pitch on SOA, focus on how service orientation enhances time-to-market, process integration, and business flexibility. Making the case for SOA should be done in terms of revenue generation rather than in terms of cost cutting.

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