Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) has gained focus as a driver for bridging and aligning business

and IT-oriented views in information system development. The critical aspect of successful SOA is

aligning technology and business; without proper alignment, the full potential of SOA will not be

achieved. The current academic literature includes only few empirical studies on business-IT alignment aspects related to SOA adoption. In this exploratory study we explore factors influencing successful SOA implementation. We interview IT and business people from nine organisations appearing

as SOA forerunners in Finland. Our findings indicate that successful SOA adoption is affected by several factors varying from organisation culture to processes and methods, communication and technology. The findings form a basis for future SOA research and a set of guidelines for practitioners.