OK, I'm a bit early, but I figured I would get a jump on the other SOA blogs making predictions for 2009 -- which seems to be a holiday tradition. I want you to know that I've been about 90 percent right in the past few years (fingers crossed and knock wood). Also, I get to be first, and thus steal the thunder from my other blogging friends. :-)
So in 2009:
1. The interest in cloud computing (or WOA, Web 2.0, or insert current Webby buzzword here) will drive many enterprises toward SOA. Those enterprises that want to take advantage of resources existing in "the cloud" will understand quickly that they need to service-enabled their existing architectures to do so. Although agility and reuse will still continue to be the drivers, many new SOAs will be launched flying the flag of cloud computing. Anne and I talk about this in this week's podcast, so make sure to give that a listen.
2. The explosion in PaaS (platform as a service) will leave many enterprise architects and CIOs scratching their heads. As much of the application development and hosting moves outside the firewall, those charged with maintaining enterprise IT will find this trend disruptive but, like SaaS, unstoppable. Those charged will building SOAs will find that trend to be a huge opportunity. Watch this space for more details.
3. The economy will recover, but most enterprises out there will focus on cost reduction. Thus, SOA will be divided up into smaller, more tactical projects, but provide better speed-to-value and thus some visible wins for the SOA guys. Hopefully, the larger strategy will stay on the radar screen.
4. There will be a larger focus on inter-domain SOA technology, or highly scalable and secure middleware technology that will provide scalable service and information access between the instances of SOAs within the enterprise, and perhaps intercompany as well. The fact is that much of the SOA solutions out there can't scale much past a single problem domain, thus this technology will become key to the strategic success of SOA.
5. Jig will be up for poor SOA governance solutions out there. There are good solutions out there, and some that need a lot of work. The poor SOA governance solutions, until 2009, just hide behind the hype, which is waning. I think the focus will be on the process and the approach, and thus the technology that best supports the people and processes will win out. It's a systemic change in what we do, and who does what -- not what we use. For those of you with SOA governance technology that won't make the cut, there is still time to capture the market; it's just a matter of making aggressive changes now. Fair warning.
6. Most failed SOA projects will be traced to unqualified SOA architects. Not that this is a big stretch, it's really that way today. However, in 2009 this will be more visible. Get the training you need now, hire a mentor, or get a good staff of experienced consultants.
7. SOA the buzzword will become a bit less relevant and will begin to morph with concepts, such as enterprise architecture and cloud computing. Had to happen. EAI morphed into SOA, SOA will morph into other things, but these concepts will still have value as core architectural patterns. In IT, nothing every goes away, we just us it in different ways.
OK, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.