SOA Adoption shows considerable geographic disparity. Europe has almost universal adoption (70% currently using), followed by North America (55% currently using) then Asia (25% currently using). The majority of organizations in Asia have no plans to adopt SOA. The report doesn’t really analyse why Asia has such low SOA adoption. My guess would be a combination of factors including lack of SOA expertise in the region, the characteristics of Asian companies being late technology adopters and the preponderance of manufacturing in the region which the survey shows has overall low SOA adoption compared with other sectors.
Those figures ring true. The Vordel Customer Case studies section on the Vordel website contains a selection of case studies from around the world, and you can see the spread does tally with the figures (though, we do have deployments in Malaysia, Mozambique, the Middle East, and other places which are not "pinned" on the Google Map, because many customers want to be confidential).
On the puzzling "Asia question", ZDNet Asia quotes a study by Springboard Research, an analyst firm based is based in Singapore. Michael Barnes, the vice president of software research at Springboard Research, says that:
The adoption cycle for SOA in the Asia-Pacific region is going through the natural maturation process typical of most IT-related markets.
Barnes said SOA initiatives have seeped into organizations in less direct ways. "We find that SOA initiatives here are less a specific objective or design point and more of an approach that has quickly become an integral part of other IT projects, such as new application development, business process management, and application and data integration," he said.
Springboard's survey noted the biggest reasons for SOA adoption in the region are application integration and data integration, as well as reducing the time and cost of delivering new services.I think that the real geographic difference is not SOA adoption itself, but at what point do you say you are adopting SOA. I've seen many cases where an organization will use SOA techniques (reusable services) as "an approach", as Michael Barnes from Springboard says above, in a particular IT project. This approach may come from vendor tools which make it straightforward to create a Web Service, expose the service, perhaps register the service also, and call the service from a browser or from a client application. In most cases the service will be plain-XML (not SOAP) or REST. In the case of REST, it is more likely to be described as simply "calling the application from a browser". Then, the "approach" of SOA becomes "an integral part of other IT projects, such as new application development, business process management, and application and data integration", as Michael Barnes says above.
That is starting to sound a lot like SOA... But when do you say "Hey we're now doing SOA". I think that is the big geographical difference. In Europe, where there is more of an appetite for architectural "grands projects" (the most obvious being the EU itself), this is most likely to happen. In the US, there is still a virtue in simple integration projects, not quite "hacks" but still simple and elegant. Simple XML or REST based integration fits into that thinking, while "SOA" sometimes seems like a kind of "big government" architecture-for-the-sake-of-architecture. In Asia, I agree with the Springboard Research study that underlying SOA approaches are being used in integration projects, without the architectural fanfare.
So, I think the difference isn't about SOA adoption itself, but the point at which an organization says "We're now doing SOA". Often an organization will happily be using services-based integration (especially with XML and REST) quite happily, thank you very much, but if asked will say "We're not doing SOA".
To see for yourself, check out the Vordel Customer Case studies section to read about projects around the world (US, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Australia).