Enterprises suffer gaping holes in the skills required for service oriented architectures (SOAs).
More than half of the companies interviewed for a recent IBM survey said that they had only 25 per cent or less of the skills required to build a functioning SOA.
Respondents lacked employees with the ability to bridge the gap between IT and business, and had insufficient experience of strategic mapping and modelling, SOA security and governance, and integration.
An SOA allows firms to piece together new applications by combining pre-developed functionalities.
To allow for such a combined view, however, the architecture requires a universal view of the entire business spanning all departments, databases and existing applications.
Jason Bloomberg, a senior analyst at Zapthink, an analyst firm specialising in web services and SOAs, underwrites the findings of the IBM study.
Many firms focus on purchasing elements from the IT infrastructure that are required to build an SOA, such as an enterprise service bus which integrates disparate systems.
"Organisations try to do SOA and end up doing something else that they think is SOA but is not," said Schmeltzer. "[An SOA] is not something you buy, it is something you do."
This lack of SOA skills is holding back adoption of the architecture, he argued, affecting companies and the consultancies that offer help in setting up the new architectures, such as IBM.
Even though the challenge is great, it is typical when new architectures are introduced, according to Schmeltzer. "We had the same problem in the 1990s when people built out the big websites," he said.
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