Volume 6, Number 25 -- June 24, 2008

IBM Says SOA Deployments Will Rise in 2008, But What About SMBs?

Published: June 24, 2008

by Alex Woodie

A new survey commissioned by IBM indicates that the deployment of service oriented architectures (SOAs) is on the uptake compared to previous years, and remain a top business priority for 2008, despite the tough economy. While large companies are moving forward with their SOA strategies, there is little evidence it is trickling down to the vast majority of IT shops that are small and midsized businesses.

Results of IBM's study, which was conducted by the Link Group, indicate that 50 percent of customers are currently deploying SOAs, while another 27 percent are piloting some sort of SOA project. More than 40 percent of the respondents said SOA was their top spending priority for 2008; nearly half of the respondents are spending between 10 percent and 29 percent of their total IT budgets for 2007 on SOA projects.

"These survey results clearly indicate SOA strategies are helping clients deliver tangible benefits as they advance from the adoption to the deployment phase," said Sandy Carter, vice president of WebSphere and SOA strategy for the marketing and channels division of IBM.

The study involved 300 clients at IBM's recent IMPACT 2008 event, which it bills as "the industry's largest SOA conference." The fact that these questions about SOA deployments and SOA plans were asked at an SOA conference could skew the results a little. After all, these are people who are active in pursuing an SOA strategy, as opposed to an IT person who's skeptical of the benefits of SOA. A sampling error was not provided.

In any event, IBM backed up its SOA survey figures with hard (well, harder) numbers about its own SOA deployments. The company says it currently has more than 6,550 SOA customer engagements and 5,000 SOA business partners, which, taken together, represent a 50 percent increase in its SOA client and partner base in less than one year. Whether that increase represents a big jump in actual SOA deployments or partner marketing dollars is tough to say. Either way, the numbers show IBM's commitment to succeeding with SOA.

SOA is critical to IBM's business strategy, which relies predominantly on selling software and services these days, and as such it's not surprising to hear that IBM is saying SOAs are going up left and right. It also makes sense when IBM says that the banking and insurance industries are leading the charge in deploying mature SOAs, considering these industries are usually at the bleeding edge of the IT curve.

But the fact remains that many people are hesitant to plunk down their hard-won IT budgets on what they view as the latest integration fad. Until there are many irrefutable examples of SOA success and that "new tech smell" wears off a little more, few organizations outside the Fortune 500 will stake a big gamble on SOA.


Microsoft Unveils New 'Oslo' Approach to SOA

SOA, What's The Big Deal?

Microsoft Talks Up 'Real World' SOA

Everybody Loves SOA, Aberdeen Survey Says

IBM Shifts Its SOA Initiative Up Into High Gear

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