'SOA' has done the 'round the world' act through the hype cycle and I personally have not witnessed a greater roller coaster ride than this. I have been part of the ride and it has been very invigorating and a bane at times. Decision Makers need to take a step back and understand the challenges from the overall IT perspective . I have come across situations wherein organizations have set out to implement SOA because they heard (do not believe) that such initiatives bring in agility into their IT. Well! That answers why only a small percentage of Enterprises have seen the light of success implementing SOA based solutions.
Moreover, I have witnessed Enterprises conclude by saying 'SOA is not for us' or 'We tried it with a small project and it did not work'. I would term this act as calling the shots too early in the game.
Accordingly to me, SOA is a journey or an evolution that an Enterprise goes through in order to attain IT operational excellence . Can one achieve this over night ? The answer is a big 'NO'. How long does it take for this journey ? The answer is 'it varies from Enterprise to Enterprise' as no two Enterprise landscape are same. Another aspect to consider is that challenges may turn out to be same across some of the Enterprises, but the solution space vastly vary & depend on the state of IT landscape of an Enterprise.
Enterprises need to take a long term view of the situation and paint a picture of what they want to achieve in the near vs. far future. ROI is something a 'C" level exec would question right away. One need to look for short term benefits mapped to the long term vision of the organization. As I mentioned earlier, it is a journey and efficiency can only be attained by having shorter milestones and carrying out repeated overhaul exercise s for an Enterprise.
In other words, Enterprises need to 'Take it Nice & Easy' and not position such initiatives as earth shattering activity leading to emergence or collapse of an Enterprise. SOA initiatives are to be run in parallel and on the side lines along with other Enterprise Initiatives with absolute eye on the vision, set short term goals and realize short term benefits.