Thursday, October 02, 2008

More Flattery for the Finance Sector?

CIO Magazine and the SOA Consortium have just announced the results of their Case Study Contest. And the winners are ... (via Brenda Michelson)

The judges have decided to award the overall prize to a company in the finance sector. According to the rubric, this is for a project producing cost-savings of around a million dollars.

Meanwhile, one of the runners-up, a company in the healthcare sector, produced cost-savings of around 6 billion dollars a year.

So why didn't the healthcare company win the overall contest? Were the judges sceptical about the benefits, or did the project did not conform to some technical purist notion of SOA? (If so, it should not have been awarded a runner-up prize either.) I wrote to one of the judges asking for the criteria to be published, and here they are: Winner snapshots and judging criteria (Oct 2008). The judging was based on a weighted scoring scheme, in which the financial case study ended up with the most points.

I am sure that the judges followed the criteria and the judging process in good faith, but I still can't see why the finance company won. There is a tendency within the SOA industry of having a rather distorted (rose-tinted) view of the finance sector. (See my earlier post IBM Flatters the Finance Sector.) Perhaps one outcome of the current Financial Catastrophe may be that the SOA industry will have to pay a bit more attention to sectors where service-oriented principles can be more usefully applied.

Which are those sectors? In my post Theory and Practice (August 2005) I suggested that the most interesting applications of SOA are going to be found towards the right of the following chart.

Simple InteroperabilityModerate Interoperability Complex Interoperability
Financial Services
SupplyChain Logistics (Basic)
SupplyChain Logistics (Advanced)
Aerospace and Defence
Consumer Electronics
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

I haven't seen anything in the last three years to alter this chart significantly.

Updated 26 March 2013

1 comment:

bmichelson said...

Hi Richard,

Hopefully this post answers your questions on how the SOA case study contest was judged. If not, drop me an email.