The point she was trying to make is that the current state of the SOA world is very much in the trough of disillusionment. Accordingly, the use of “SOA”, the noun, in any discussion with anyone from business or executive management MUST be avoided if you want to try and use a service-oriented approach to deliver IT services to your organisation.
This was true before, but it’s even more critical now given the current economic climate: every technology initiative within an organisation should be defined in terms of the measurable business value it will deliver. Whether it’s implemented using SOA, REST, CORBA, a packaged application or carrier pigeons is fundamentally irrelevant to the business. What is relevant to the business is how much measurable benefit the initative will deliver, how well matched it is to the business vision and strategy and how much it will likely cost to adapt to the inevitable changes the business will face.
Figuring out the best technology solution and approach to implement the initiative is the job of the IT teams. To the business, it’s the capabilities, costs and flexibility of the solution in delivering the business that really matters because that’s the measure on which their own performance will be assessed.