According to a survey from Software AG, more than 90 percent of respondents indicated some level of SOA planning underway within their organizations. More than half of all enterprises have already implemented successful SOA-based projects and/or an enterprise-wide SOA. Respondents also reported considerable satisfaction with their progress to date. Less than 10 percent were explicitly unhappy with their results so far as satisfaction with SOA beat dissatisfaction by a four-to-one margin. Among those reporting having an enterprise-wide SOA in place, approximately two-thirds said that they were satisfied with their results to date with the remainder reporting that it was “too early to tell.”


The survey also found that users overwhelming view governance as being a key component to creating sustainable SOA implementations at the enterprise level, with more than 90 percent reporting that it was either critically (54 percent) or moderately important. Despite this importance, nearly two-thirds rate their own SOA governance practices as either “nonexistent” or “insufficient.” Among the best practices identified by the survey was the importance of having a SOA Competency Center or Center of Excellence in place to build cross-organizational support for these initiatives. Somewhat surprisingly, the survey also found that senior IT management appeared to be missing from these discussions with less than 20 percent enjoying active support from the office of the CIO as just one example.


Among the survey’s other findings were:

  • Interest in SOA was widespread as only one industry out of 14 reported that more than 15 percent of its respondents had “no plans to adopt SOA.”
  • Top drivers for SOA adoption were a desire to improve business agility, simplify integration and support business process management (BPM) initiatives.
  • SOA has yet to expand far beyond the firewall as only a small minority (19.5 percent) report having exposed more than a quarter of their existing services externally.
  • There was a strong correlation between SOA maturity and governance adoption with more than 80 percent of enterprises having a fully implemented SOA in place calling their governance practices “mature” or “adequate” versus 33 percent overall.
  • Enterprises with the most advanced adoption of SOA governance were the least likely to identify governance as a set of technologies alone.
  • Full lifecycle governance was deemed critical with 70 percent of respondents concluding that each stage of the lifecycle – design, run and change-time governance – were of equal importance.
  • Over half believe that governance should be implemented before the first service is created.
  • SOAP and WSDL were described as the most important standards for SOA followed by UDDI.
  • WSDLs and XML schemas were the most commonly stored repository items followed by additional documentation and associated policies.

In terms of key inhibitors to more widespread adoption, users identified the lack of needed skills, the complexity of their current IT environments, the lack of business support and the difficulty in quantify ROI as key challenges.


The Best Practices for SOA Governance User Survey was produced by Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, and can be found at


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