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Trying to get budget from the C-level in these economic times can be difficult, but integration and SOA initiatives are still very much alive and need to move forward. Check out this blog post and conversation on ebizQ to consider whether “’Guerrilla SOA’ is a realistic option when the CEO doesn’t approve your budget.”

Here’s what our very own Ross Mason had to say on the topic:

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I prefer ‘bottom-up’ over ‘Guerrilla’, but yes I’ve seen firsthand that the more successful enterprises that have adopted SOA have done so at the grassroots level (most studies on SOA report the top-down approach is only successful between 10-30% of the time). Certainly many of our customers choose Mule not on a strategic initiative, but because they have pockets of successful implementations and decide to work with us to help pull the pieces together.

The great thing about this approach is that departments independently find a ‘mode’ of SOA that works for their use case. This starts the SOA evolution process as people start to get comfortable with the organizational and infrastructure changes needed to make SOA work, essentially starting small to prove out the direction. Of course, not all will implement a well-architected SOA solution, but that’s okay–think of it as the cost of adoption. Once there is a SOA initiative for the division or company there will be much less resistance and much more knowledge on the ground.

Marked by the obituary of SOA declared at the beginning of the year, people are coming around to the idea that the top-down approach to SOA that traditional vendors have been offering is not an approach that works for most organizations. Incremental adoption is far more effective, because the problems SOA tackle are complex and have different characteristics in every organization. People find it easier to discover what service orientation means on localized ‘edge’ problems. Only once the lessons have been learned at the edge can people effectively participate in an enterprise SOA initiative.

One of the good things about the SOA approach is that it recognizes diversity and has mechanisms such as federated registries and governance to help accommodate these differences in localized deployments. Although a fragmented, grassroots SOA approach may in theory not be the most desirable way to go, in reality it’s the most successful way of creating a service oriented culture in the enterprise.

Here’s the link to the post again: