I think the dependencies between EA and SOA are just now really being understood. I’ve recently been involved in a multi-company research project on the Business Implications of SOA. Based upon that research, and what I see in the IT shops I get to work with over the years, I believe a strong EA capability and maturity is a foundation for SOA, and that ultimately, SOA will not fulfill its potential without a strong EA capability. That means SOA falls into the Level 2 sticking point, which is a shame because some of the best value from SOA and related capabilities I believe will come in high Level 2 and Level 3 Business-IT Maturity.
Another dependency we surfaced early in the research is the degree to which the IT organization has itself embraced a “services and processes” organizing logic. We found that, just as the terminology implies, capability maturity with a broad IT Service Management approach dramatically simplifies SOA deployment. In fact, if you look at a list of characteristics that define “service orientation” in SOA they pretty much define service orientation. The sticking point aspect of the shift to Service Management is that the perspective shifts from IT out, to business/customer in. Things are packaged as “services” easily discoverable, and fully reusable. There is good understanding of cost to serve and value of service. This shift in perspective is challenging – again, you have to shift direction – be sensitive to the Yin and Yang involved in maturing IT capability.