Morgan Stanley goes SOA

Morgan Stanley was recently talking about its major SOA investment spanning the last 18 months.

Implemented in its Global Wealth Management division , the justification for SOA was to give advisors and clients an integrated view of more accurate information, more quickly.  As with most SOA projects of this scale, SOA isn’t the whole story.  Morgan Stanley had to first upgrade the network infrastructure to give its branch network the bandwidth required, then implement SOA on top and finally use ETL to convert the data flowing through their service bus into the dashboards the advisors look at (and a customer portal).

Interesting aspects of the coverage include:

  • The programme was a strategic initiative to make this division competitive now and into the future.  Technology is simply the enabler to that goal.
  • A best of breed approach was taken to the technology: IBM for the SOA layer, Informatica for the ETL.
  • Web Services were used extensively (In the drive to distinguish between SOA and Web Services, it is easy to dismiss Web Services.  They can and often are part of the SOA technology stack)
  • The project included major rewrites of existing applications – to consolidate where possible and also to update so that they could be plugged into the SOA framework.
  • The common problem of changing the development culture away from write-it-all-ourselves was stressed.