How to Avoid Common SOA Pitfalls

5. Cutting corners on planning. In SOA as in other kinds of complex technological projects, the devil is in the details. As CIO, you need to:

Talk with stakeholders. Cull business users’ wishes for the finished solution. Give all departments a chance to weigh in—they know better than anyone how day-to-day processes really work, what problems need solving, and what business services are most essential.

Translate between the two sides. You or someone you tap may need to translate business requirements into “developer-speak” your team can understand. Expect to serve as referee as business and IT strive to get the project done right.

Enforce application testing. Test early and often to make sure that line of business folks’ wishlists are being translated into workable code.

Set realistic deadlines for integration with partners’ applications. Insist that everyone on your team adheres to them.

6. Rushing to deployment. The best SOA projects go live after a period of months—not when the proverbial switch is flipped. Start within one department so you can keep tabs on service granularity (which we guarantee will change over time), and flush out risk along the way. Enterprise-wide SOA enablement doesn’t happen overnight, but the benefits it engenders will generate many positive effects for your organization, from IT to business stakeholders to customers and partners.

Mukund Balasubramanian is CTO of Photon Infotech, a next generation Internet consulting firm specializing in cutting edge business solutions utilizing Web 2.0, SOA, Open Source and Mobile application development. Mukund also served as VP ofProduct Development for WebMethods before joining Photon. Prior to that, Mukund was the founder and CTO of Infravio, a company he co-founded in 2000 based on his Stanford University research thesis while still a student.