"If you implement an ERP (system) today you can guarantee in a year you'll need to change your processes, and today's architectures cannot support process changes easily and [inexpensively]," Jost said.
"SOA is an enabler to allow changes to business processes."
When it comes to making the pitch to the CEO for an SOA-based approach, Jost said the case must be made in business terms.
"It's important to show to your executive management that this technical stuff supports higher growth and profit," he said.
Despite the SOA hype, it appears getting that executive buy-in remains an uphill battle.
Steve Tieman, vice-president of strategic modernization initiatives with Estee Lauder, said he doesn't see a business case beyond the firm's existing SAP portal and Estee Lauder's senior executives don't see a business value in the agility offered by SOA.
"I feel SOA is being pushed from the technical perspective, and that's not going to convince our decision makers that we should spend the money and time to make that work," Tieman said.
Debra Boykin, global business analyst at the brewery, Molson Coors, said SOA is still a pretty fuzzy concept.
"I think SOA is still a pretty fuzzy concept and it's going to need a lot more explanation for us to get our arms around it."
- with Darren Pauli