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While SOA is becoming a preferred technology in the enterprise, one thing holding it back is simply the lack of IT professionals trained and experienced with SOA technologies.
More than half of the companies in a recent IBM/ZapThink sponsored survey found that they had less than 25 percent of the skills needed to build out SOA-based enterprise solutions. Areas where companies found the most weakness include:
- Ability to coordinate and translate business requirements into IT implementations
- Strategic SOA Mapping and Modeling
SOA requires IT to have a world view of infrastructure and a knowledge of all the databases and applications spread throughout the enterprise. In the past, implementations have often grown departmentally. SOA tries to connect the pieces, but without understanding the pieces and their contents, making meaningful connections can be hard. A big problems is that many organizations attempt SOA by focusing on what IT technologies they can buy to connect the pieces, instead of focusing on an architecture for achieving the company’s business objectives.
To help address the skills shortage, IBM is working with universities to better train today’s students and tomorrow’s workers. As part of that effort, IBM recently introduced a business simulation game called Innov8 that will help students more quickly pick up some of the business/IT skills that they lack today.