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Cloud Computing: Article

Five Reasons to Start a SOA Technology Company Now

There are huge opportunities today, as long as you make the right moves

I know, the economy is rough these days.  Myself, I'm unwilling to look at my mutual funds until we're through this.  However, when times are tough, markets normalize, and while the stock holders and venture capitalists out there are crying in their beers, now could be a great time to start something new for those innovative and resourceful few.

The idea is that when it does not seem like a good time to start a company, typically that is the best time to start a company.  In this case you’re looking to bring in second generation technology, or technology created out of the lessons learned in the first.  Thus, you have a better understanding of the problems at hand, and how SOA technology can solve those problems.   There are huge opportunities here, as long as you make the right moves.

So, here are five reasons why you should start a SOA technology company now:

The competition is down. Many SOA technology companies have been acquired by the big guys, and the ones remaining seem to be lacking focus and innovation -- and perhaps funding -- these days.  Now is a time to start something new and out-innovate both the behemoths and the old maids.  There are plenty of good ideas left, trust me.

You can do more with less. The days of needing $10 million, minimum, to make any sort of impact in the market are long past.  Today, virtual companies, cloud computing, and the other cost-effective tools make it possible to start and run a company at a fraction of the burn of just a few years ago.  There are many examples of these types of companies in the Web 2.0 space, but not many in the SOA space.

There are many core SOA problems that are left to be solved.  Not to get into any specifics here, but as SOA moves from the experimentation to the production stages, clearly there are a number of solutions that have yet to be developed to address many of the needs of the SOA practitioners out there.  Not sure why they were missed, but they indeed were missed. We can call these "second-generation SOA solutions."

The merging of the Web and SOA has just begun. The whole WOA space is emerging quickly, and you can really just call it what it is: Extending SOA beyond the firewall, or the Global SOA.  While we've been writing and speaking a lot about this (especially me), there are many opportunities to capitalize on emerging solutions.

We know more than we did 5 years ago. Years ago when the SOA startups began to emerge, they leveraged an early understanding of the concepts of SOA.  Today, we have a much-improved understanding as to what works, what does not, and what was just meaningless hype. Knowledge, context, and innovation are huge strategic advantages, especially if you're not hindered by a product that seemed like a good idea years ago, but not so much these days.

I expect that we will see a few SOA startups get going for the reasons I just listed.  However, most entrepreneurs will sit on the sidelines for now, and that’s good for those who are starting new businesses.  

The path to success will have to include the ability to recognize the missing pieces of the SOA technology stack, perhaps even before the SOA architects have.  Also, you need to make sure that you’re focused on the problem.  Far too many SOA technology companies try to boil the ocean, and never really do any specific thing well.  Don’t make that mistake.

Hopefully we’ll soon have a new crop of SOA solutions out there.  The list of problems that still need to be solved is long.

More Stories By David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the Chief Cloud Strategy Officer at Deloitte Consulting, and was just named the #1 cloud influencer via a recent major report by Apollo Research. He is a cloud computing thought leader, executive, consultant, author, and speaker. He has been a CTO five times for both public and private companies, and a CEO two times in the last 25 years.

Few individuals are true giants of cloud computing, but David's achievements, reputation, and stellar leadership has earned him a lofty position within the industry. It's not just that he is a top thought leader in the cloud computing universe, but he is often the visionary that the wider media invites to offer its readers, listeners and viewers a peek inside the technology that is reshaping businesses every day.

With more than 13 books on computing, more than 5,000 published articles, more than 500 conference presentations and numerous appearances on radio and TV programs, he has spent the last 20 years leading, showing, and teaching businesses how to use resources more productively and innovate constantly. He has expanded the vision of both startups and established corporations as to what is possible and achievable.

David is a Gigaom research analyst and writes prolifically for InfoWorld as a cloud computing blogger. He also is a contributor to “IEEE Cloud Computing,” Tech Target’s SearchCloud and SearchAWS, as well as is quoted in major business publications including Forbes, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times. David has appeared on NPR several times as a computing industry commentator, and does a weekly podcast on cloud computing.

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