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Cloud Computing vs SOA: Look For a Cross-over in Hype

Cloud Computing is one of the many things enterprise CIOs, CTOs and other engineers will master in delivering capability

Cloud Computing is one of the many things enterprise CIOs, CTOs and other engineers will master in delivering capability.  I believe in the power of new Cloud Computing technologies and concepts and think we should all continue our focus there.

I have said, and still say, the same thing about design approaches like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).  The constructs, methods and models of SOA are good practices that result in good designs for enterprises. It is smart to separate data from application logic and smart to enable agility and mashups the way good SOA design does.

But a key problem with SOA was the hype associated with it. Everyone started using the term the way they wanted to.  And every IT vendor came out with their definition of SOA.  And every system integrator tried to sell us buckets of their SOA.  And every trade journal ran SOA articles.  And too many CTOs, myself included, said too much to our customer/users about the promise of SOA and that contributed to our users increasing their expectations over what SOA would deliver.   The result of all of that, the over hype on SOA sometimes caused distractions.  The cure: CTOs focused on what SOA meant for their specific organizations.  It is still a great construct and by focus it is delivering value.

There are now clear indications that the hype around Cloud Computing is going to ramp way up.  In fact, a quick search on Google Trends indicates searches on the topic of Cloud Computing, while still lower than searches on the topic of SOA, are rapidly gaining while searches on SOA are declining.  The two are headed for a cross-over.

The graph below reflects this (a live version of this graph is at Google Trends).

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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