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Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) challenges Application Lifecycle Management

New Ovum research reveals how software development organizations are struggling to prevent emergence of separate governance silo

(PresseBox) (LONDON, ) Ovum, the global analyst and consulting company, today announced the results of a major study regarding the impact of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) governance on application lifecycle management (ALM). According to the new report, "ALM and SOA: Lifecycles in a parallel universe", the push to apply governance to the SOA lifecycle threatens to create a separate island of governance apart from the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Ovum's research findings indicate that all too often, SOA development continues to be treated as a special case, confined to an elite group of architects and developers, well beyond the pilot phase. Such duplication costs IT organizations money that they can ill afford, while delaying time-to-benefit.

"Full blown SOA governance often recreates duplication that SOA architecture was supposed to eliminate," says Tony Baer, senior analyst at Ovum and author of the report. "The disconnect of SOA from the mainstream of the software development lifecycle has contributed to the backlash that it has suffered over the past 12 - 18 months."

The SDLC could benefit from practices associated with SOA governance. Examples include architected development that design services for potential reuse, or utilization of service contracts that provide explicit awareness of service performance at runtime. Both are examples of practices that could improve application lifecycle management.

Yet, adjustments will be necessary to common SDLC practices and methodologies to benefit from best practices of SOA lifecycle governance. Classic waterfall development methodologies support the comprehensive, upfront architectural planning that is essential for successful SOA implementation, but fall short in supporting the iterative change that keeps services aligned with business needs. Conversely, iterative and agile development approaches provide the lifecycle flexibility, but at the cost of architectural development.

"Middle ground approaches that apply principles of agile development to enterprise architectural practices are the solution," explained Baer.


Ovum is a global advisory and consulting firm. Its primary activity is providing value-added advisory services and consulting to retained and project clients. The company acts as a well-respected and trusted source of industry data, knowledge and expertise on the commercial impact of technology, regulatory and market changes. Ovum engages in continuous research and industry analysis to determine market dynamics in its specialist sectors.

Ovum has developed long-standing relationships with many of its corporate clients, which include major international blue-chip companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, Cable & Wireless, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Telstra and Vodafone.

Ovum is part of the Datamonitor Group.