Of Silver Bullets, Blood and Vampires
Most White Papers related to SOA, BPM or innovative application life-cycle environments monger the usual amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt. ‘Businesses are being forced’, ‘Markets change rapidly’, and ‘Governments require compliance’ is the common tenor. It seems that IT vendors need to intimidate businesses to sell their solutions. C-level management is being told that without huge investments into new technology, such as the ‘silver bullet’ of SOA agility, they are doomed. Remember, ‘silver bullets’ are used to kill vampires, which opens up the question who is sucking blood (money) from the corporate arteries? External consultants try to justify their expense by how many vampires (employees) they eliminate. ‘Blade’ said in the movie of the same name: ‘It takes a vampire to kill a vampire.’
Similes are fun and sometimes useful, but this one ends here because SOA is not a ‘silver bullet,’ lacking its key feature – simplicity and immediate salvation. If hordes of high-tech and business process consultants at exorbitant prices would have been needed to save us from vampires, Count Dracula would rule this planet today. Other vendors in other papers propose the 80/20 Pareto rule as a justification for huge BPM analysis expenditures or define ‘SOA sweet spots’ in their ‘Road Maps to Success’.
What you see on the surface in the information technology market has little to do with business needs, quality or functionality. It is shaped by billions of advertizing. It is distorted by how much money is spent on analysts. The market does projects where the consultancy companies see their revenue. It is important to turn away from the market buzz, ignore ‘vain’ benchmarks, and stop trying to leverage ‘Me-too’ best practices. Business executives and CIOs need to turn around and connect with their most important asset – the people that produce their products and service their customers!