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This is first part of series of short essays I decide to write about Enterprise SOA adoption model. As Enterprise Solutions Architect, I was faced with a quandary of the enterprise-wide adoption of Enterprise SOA model for the Fortune 200 Company. Enterprise SOA is the hot topic amongst IT executives it provides the promise of entrance into boardroom not as the utility provider, but as the equal business partner to be recon with. However, I believe majority of IT/IS organizations will ultimately fell to appreciate and discover true nature and power of ESA. The problem lies in our conventional frame of thinking. I believe that in order for Enterprise SOA model to succeed we have to change our fundamental approach to how we solve business problems, and “why” is the answer to ultimate success of Enterprise SOA model in any organization.   According to FDIC sponsored study, 83% of all IT projects failed. This is astonishing number to any casual observer, but for us this should not come as much of surprise. Most of IT related projects begun with “what” and usually answered with “how”. It is not a bottleneck as some authors likes to present; problem is the reaction-based approach lot of IT organization are operate in. Let me explain. “What” is the usually the mode business/functional person is operated in. Whereas, “how” is left to IT/technical people to figured out. Both, “what” and “how” are reactive-based questions. With “what” and “how” we operate only in the realm of “black and white” and by start asking “why” we will open entirely new plane for adaptive and creative solutions as well as force “what”-people to re-analyze the problem . My favorite example is Chapter One of Dan Woods and Thomas Mattern’s book “Enterprise SOA”, on page 27 authors ask, “What is the promise of ESA?”, and on page 28, they answer, “How will the transition to ESA occur?” The reason I am using this example, because I have great deal of respect for both authors and would highly recommend this book to anyone, but my point is – even they failed to answer “Why do we need Enterprise SOA?” If we cannot answer, “why” do we need Enterprise SOA; how can we convince rest of the stakeholder?  Shai Aggasi during his 2005 TechEd keynote said, “…the new breed of technology professional will emerge, so called disruptive innovators. This group of people will come up with new creative solution and new core processes.” I believe that disruptive innovators will be the group of people who will be able question “why” and will be able to answer it… I would go even further, in order to remain relevant to in our competitive environment we all will have to become “disruptive innovators”.   In conclusion, I believe if we want to succeed as IT professionals, responsible shareholders, and Enterprise SOA pioneers we will have to become “uncomfortable” with what we already have and start question everything.    P.S. “the truth is out there” 
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  1. Andre Truong
    Few innovators and early adopters are going to benefits by starting eSOA right now. I know a lot of them (either customers, system integrators or ISVs). The individuals (leaders and team members)in these organizations who are engaging in eSOA will have a great time solving real business problems (not IT problems) and contributing directly to their company bottom lines.
    But at the same times, those early adopters are a drop in the bucket of SAP 30,000 customer base and the rest of the market. Very promising if SAP doesn’t give it up to Oracle or IBM. Sometimes I wonder…
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  2. Natty Gur
    Probably by using Enterprise architecture. enterprise architecture let us show enterprise’s business side the value of SOA. using we EA can plan the right pace of SOA adoption, and we can get holistic view of the enterprise that is crutial for succsesful SOA adaption. 

    At TechEd you will be able to hear more about EA …

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    1. Maxim Efimov Post author
      Interesting thought, I was thinking along the lines: “Why, what, how, and when”. “Who” is definitely the interesting addition to the mix…

      Thank you, for your insight…

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  3. David Halitsky
    Maxim –

    You are to be congratulated to realizing that there IS a box.  This is the first step toward thinking outside it.  Many, too many, in the “IT” profession think that the bells and whistles are “IT” and that the goal of the profession is to bell more cats and whistle up more windpipes.

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