Document Type

Research Paper


This article summarizes the results of an empirical study among large German enterprises regarding the value potentials and challenges of service-oriented architectures (SOA). The 21 value potentials and 13 challenges examined were identified and structured based on an advancement of SOA value models already existing in literature aswell as on a series of expert interviews. Key results regarding the implementation and evaluation of the SOA-Concept are: The majority of the users only run one or a few SOA-based applications and the share of services in their IT-landscape is on average about 10%. Among the design principles proposed in literature, especially loose coupling and good documentation of interfaces are implemented. Clear capsulation of functionality and the definition of Service Level Agreements (SLAs), however, are hardly applied. The interviewed companies assess the relation of the value of a SOA introduction compared to its cost currently as slightly negative, but with a positive trend for the upcoming years. It is shown that the assessment of the overall value positively correlates with the duration of SOA usage. Among the 21 examined value potentials, optimization of business processes, increased agility and cost reduction due to parallel re-use of services receive the highest ratings. According to the interviewed experts, the main challenges are operation (performance/ security) and the management (governance) of the architecture. These challenges hinder value realization and lead to a moderately positive assessment of the overall concept.