SOA, Web Services Widespread
Most companies adopting services-oriented architecture and Web services have gone beyond experimentation and are putting them to work. Only a minute number of organizations have no intent in using them. SOA and Web services represent a small but not insignificant sliced of the total IT budget. They have become part of the bedrock of the IT architecture.
SOA Gets Good Reviews, But It's No Slam Dunk
Ninety-seven percent of our survey respondents expect SOA and Web services to improve business processes. Many companies have adopted Web services because IT executives believe it can help their companies in fundamental ways. IT managers say SOA and Web services improve integration, in addition to improving processes and lowering costs. So it makes sense that business process management, customer service and business intelligence—applications that require a high degree of integration—are the most common upgrade targets. But are Web services and SOA delivering on these promises? Our May 2006 Emerging Technology Survey found strong satisfaction with Web services and SOA, but this month's survey finds satisfaction isn't uniform. SOA and Web services rarely fail outright, but they don't fulfill every company's expectations, especially when it comes to reducing costs.
Web Services and SOA Improve IT Productivity
Service architectures prove beneficial to IT pros as well as to businesses. As infrastructure technologies, SOA and Web services can bring the most benefit to companies if they also help IT personnel do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. The service-oriented approach generally fares well as a productivity booster. Roughly two-thirds of survey respondents say SOA and Web services improve the productivity of their developers and lower development costs even though they're not standouts at promoting reuse. SOA also extends the lives of some legacy applications and makes it easier to move off those that have truly outlived their usefulness. Still, roughly one in three indicate Web services and SOA do not help IT organizations develop and deploy systems; these disappointments keep satisfaction rates down.