Service Oriented Architectures: The State of Play in Australia

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Bruce McCabe and Robert Kay


The notion of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) has received considerable attention in the commercial literature over the past two years, but a consistent definition of what an SOA really is, and what it does, has yet to emerge, and almost no empirical research has been conducted to find out what SOAs means to the IT practitioners charged with implementing them in businesses and government organizations. This study attempts to address this gap by reporting on the results a qualitative research study conducted to ascertain what service-oriented architectures meant in practice to the IT practitioners working on them in 23 large Australian organizations. The findings are then used to draw some conclusions on how SOAs can be expected to evolve in the organizations in the future.


service oriented architecture, SOA, enterprise architecture repository, Web services

About the authors

Bruce McCabe is the Managing Director of S2 Intelligence Pty Ltd, a company he founded to research technology issues for Australian enterprises. Since 1995 he has provided research, analysis, and advice to Australia’s top 200 corporations and to agencies in every State and Federal government. He is a prolific IT industry commentator and contributor to public debate on technology issues. He writes a weekly column in ‘The Australian’ newspaper.

Dr. Robert Kay is the Head of Strategic Innovation at Westpac Banking Corporation where he is responsible for the development of a strategic capability based upon the use of techniques from systems and complexity theory. Before returning to industry he spent several years as an academic undertaking research projects in the areas of IT/business strategic alignment, complexity theory, systems theory, and organizational development. He has taught at a number of Australian universities as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan.


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Journal of Enterprise Architecture

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