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SOA is Alive and Well in Banking, Survey Suggests

Forrester study finds that 80% of banks use services-oriented architecture for at least some of their applications.

Service-oriented architectures, in which software is built in reusable components that work easily with multiple applications, generally over the internet, are widely used in banking, according to a new report from Forrester, "SOA Is Anything But Dead In Financial Services." Analysts who surveyed 80 IT executives in financial services firms around the world this summer found that 80% of the firms use SOA in a production environment today and nearly 20% are exploring SOA for test purposes or within initial pilots. "Only a dwindling minority do not use SOA and business services at all today or do not know about their SOA status," the report states.

In North America, 12% of financial services firms use SOA and business services in the majority of their applications, 62% use SOA in less than a third of their applications, and 9% use the methodology in more than a third, but not the majority of apps. But in the next 18 to 24 months, these bankers will move quickly up the adoption curve: 53% say they will use SOA in more than a third of their applications, 18% will use it in the majority of their apps.

The Forrester analysts caution banks to avoid getting locked into one systems integrator's set of models, that banks should make their own decision about what types of services to use independent of any provider. The firm also recommends that banks create an enterprise-wide plan for SOA.

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