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Understanding Service Oriented Architectures and Their Costs

Software Track

Downloadable Files:

SW-11 Snyder Paper SOAs


Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) appears to be the next generation of IT architecture. The technology is growing rapidly in both commercial and government markets, with new products being delivered almost monthly. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is pushing for SOA implementations of enterprise architectures within the Intelligence Community. Recently, the DNI’s Chief Information Officer released strategy and security documentation, as well as a reference model, for SOAs. Although the community is aware that SOAs are the way of the future, little is known about the costs associated with this implementation and subsequent maintenance. Despite the claims from the Intelligence Community that SOAs are cheaper, historical data needed to corroborate this claim, especially from government agencies, is scarce at best. With every emerging technology, it is difficult to accurately estimate future costs prior to the technology reaching its maturity.

This paper will examine the various characteristics of SOAs that drive development and O&M costs. This paper will also highlight the differences between government- implemented SOAs and those implemented within the commercial environment and how those differences may impact cost. The ultimate goal for this paper is to inform the cost community of this latest evolution in computer-based, enterprise architectures, some of the difficulties it brings to the cost community, and encourage others to explore costing methods.


Kevin Snyder
Kevin Snyder is an Operations Research analyst for Northrop Grumman IT, Intelligence (TASC), where he provides cost analysis and estimating support to a variety of agencies throughout the Intelligence Community. Prior to his work in the Intelligence Community, he worked on the TASC cost team for the US Navy’s DD(X) destroyer program. Mr. Snyder received his bachelors of science from The College of William & Mary in Mathematics in May 2004. He recently completed the Military Operations Research Graduate Certificate program at George Mason University and is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Operations Research (December 2007 completion).

Janelle McDonald
Janelle McDonald is an Operations Research analyst for Northrop Grumman IT, Intelligence (TASC). Mrs. McDonald works with various programs with in the Intelligence Community IC. Her activities include cost analysis and estimation, business case development, cost benefit analysis and cost and schedule growth risk assessment. In the past she developed an organization specific risk management process, established and advised a risk management board for an IC program office. Mrs. McDonald also works on Independent Cost Evaluation (ICE) teams doing internal risk assessments. Prior to her work with TASC, Mrs. McDonald supported the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies as a software developer and business analyst. Mrs. McDonald received her B.S. from the University of Virginia in Systems and Information Engineering, May 2003 and her Masters in Systems Engineering in May 2006