To ESB or Not to ESB?

by Bart Narter, February 10, 2009
Product Trends/ Reviews
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America


It is generally assumed that a service-oriented architecture (SOA) will have an enterprise service bus (ESB). Celent questions that basic assumption.

In this report, To ESB or Not to ESB?, Celent questions the baseline assumption that an enterprise service bus (ESB) is required for SOA. The vast majority of large banks have an ESB and there are many benefits that accrue to installing an ESB.

What isn’t as broadly discussed are the downsides of using an ESB and the other options available that are likely to be faster, less expensive, and perhaps no less flexible. The ESB also introduces a single point of failure (as shown below in Figure 1), processing overhead, and more complex audit trails.

Bart Narter, Senior Vice President of the Banking Group and author of the report states, “While the knee-jerk assumption is that to do SOA, a bank needs an ESB, it is possible that a bank could get more value from the SOA by not having one.” He continues, “However, working without an ESB requires a greater amount of discipline and coordination across the organization.”

A Japanese version of the report is also available.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary






Not to ESB




Sign in to download reports and access personalized information