If I had to guess what a service oriented architecture will eventually look like, I would guess that it would reflect the business architecture – Business Oriented Architecture (BOA). Business organizations have evolved over many centuries into a number of common “departments” – sales, accounting, personnel, etc. Perhaps that is a good starting place for services.
The issues addressed in my book are now becoming mainstream as the technological agenda of service-oriented architecture (SOA) starts to converge with the strategic agenda of the service-based business (SBB). This implies an approach to business strategy that involves dynamically managing the geometry of the business. (To achieve a fully adaptive enterprise we typically need to implement a variable geometry.) We can find elements of this thinking in some of the methodologies coming out of IBM and Microsoft, although from what I’ve seen so far I don’t think any of these methodologies go far enough.
Hal calls this Business Oriented Architecture. If anything, I’d prefer to call it Architecture-Oriented Business. As Hal indicates, this calls for architectural thinking at the business level, which need to be aligned with architectural thinking at the information/software level.
This comes back around to the whole SOA top-down vs. bottom-up argument. Something I’ll comment further on when I’m not up to my armits in moving boxes.