IBM SOA Institute Targets U.S. Federal Organizations

Center will focus on SOA development, education

IBM says it will open a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) center devoted exclusively to aiding U.S. Federal agencies adopt and benefit from SOA IT initiatives. The IBM Federal SOA Institute will focus on “innovation, solution development and testing, and education.”

IBM says SOA is a way of “architecting an organization’s IT technology to more closely align with business goals,” a hot priority in most IT shops, not just the government sector. SOA benefits include “greater efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced flexibility to meet changing business needs,” Big Blue says. SOA resonates with Federal agencies because of their budget constraints, security concerns, and aging IT systems, concerns also faced by corporate IT.

In a prepared statement, Anne K. Altman, managing director of IBM’s U.S. Federal business, noted: “We believe this first-of-a-kind center will help Federal agencies identify new ways to build and utilize IT systems, quickly improve and reuse legacy systems, and reduce overall application development, operations and management.”

The IBM Federal SOA Institute will include dedicated technology and consulting resources to support Federal organizations as well as those enterprises that serve this clientele. The Institute hopes to spur innovation by fostering collaboration among IBM researchers, educational institutions, and Federal agencies.

Big Blue says the Institute’s lab will design, test, and demonstrate SOA methodologies and technologies specifically for Federal environments. It plans to assist with customer-related pilots and serve as a central repository for “reusable technology assets and best practices that can accelerate customer acceptance.”

To help promote the technology and educate the community, the Institute offers a speaker series for senior level customers and technology partners (though “senior level” wasn’t defined); topics include SOA governance, service-oriented modeling, security, and legacy assets reuse. Future briefings are planned to foster the exchange of ideas within the public and private sectors.

More information is available at

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James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (

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