Just how aware are businesses of Service Oriented Architectures, and how much benefit do people see from being able to have such an environment? Quocirca’s research points to high levels of ignorance in many areas – a great deal of education is needed to drive forwards the capabilities of SOAs for general adoption. However, the research also shows that those companies that have gone down the SOA route are gaining real, tangible benefits.
SOA awareness is far lower than expected
From earlier research, overall growth in SOA awareness has been minimal. The lack of business awareness of SOA is stark, with over 50% of business respondents being completely unaware of SOA. Even within the technical community, this lack of awareness is running at nearly 25%.
Regional differences in SOA awareness are high
Nearly 90% of those who have implemented an SOA see the approach as being “highly important” or “critical” to their business. This compares to 28% for the total respondent group.
Life Sciences and Consumer Packaged Goods lead the way in OA deployments
Nearly 20% of Life Sciences companies have a fully implemented SOA architecture. At the other end of the scale, less than 5% of industrial and retail companies have an SOA infrastructure.
Telecommunications sees the greatest importance in SOA
17% of telecommunication companies see SOA as critical to their success going forwards, whereas just over 1% of financial institutions see SOA as being critical.
Security and systems management are not seen as
Although nearly 30% of respondents saw security as being very hard or impossible in an SOA environment, 60% saw that SOA security would be little different to other security needs. Similarly, although nearly 10% of respondents perceived the management of an SOA to be too difficult to contemplate, nearly 50% saw that existing systems would be able to cope, and over 30% felt that it would be done easily enough with new tooling. SOA Gurus had found security and management far easier than was perceived by the overall sample.
With the lack of awareness of SOA, Quocirca’s research shows, companies run the risk of repeating historical mistakes in implementing an architecture that gains short-term tactical gains, while requiring a “rip and replace” upgrade in the future.
SOA architectures are seen by those who have implemented them as providing long term strategic advantages to their organisations. However, the general perception of SOA is that it is more a “nice to have” – and the levels of complete lack of awareness are high enough to heavily impact the uptake of SOA in the short to mid term. Although SOA “Gurus” see great advantages through the use of SOA, vendors will have to educate the market in a consistent manner to ensure that these benefits are more widely accepted and organisations must look to standardised SOA implementations to ensure long-term flexibility and market advantages.
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The information presented in this report was derived from 1,466 interviews with senior IT influencers and decision makers completed in April 2006. 179 of these were conducted in the