Service Firms Must Significantly Invest In Building Their Service Oriented Architecture Capabilities, IDC Finds

FRAMINGHAM, MA – August 18, 2005 – According to an IDC study that examined and compared major service providers with service oriented architecture (SOA)-based services offerings and capabilities, SOA is being heralded as the most effective way to overcome the complexities involved in creating businesses that are agile and adaptive enough to address the ever-changing market dynamics. The majority of services vendors surveyed noted that SOA is now a core element of their service portfolio, and indicated that they currently provide an array of SOA-related services. At the same time, enterprises are moving from primarily initiating SOA pilot projects to implementing and rolling out their first departmental or even company-wide projects.

"There is no question that SOA offers a major growth opportunity for service vendors in all of their major service offerings, be it business or IT consulting, systems integration, custom application development, outsourcing, or support and training," said Marianne Hedin, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Services Research Program. "As a result, service firms must make significant investments in building their capabilities in this emerging area."

Key trends observed in this study include:

– SOA will need to be leveraged in every service offering that is part of a vendor's portfolio in order to best capitalize on this opportunity.

– Partnering and partnerships are essential in order to deploy SOA, particularly as engagements become increasingly complex and large in scope.

– The SMB market opportunity will become increasingly promising as smaller and mid-sized firms begin to understand the benefits from SOA implementation.

– In order of importance, the top four SOA client opportunities by industry are: financial services, government, healthcare, and retail.

"Until recently, the majority of SOA engagements have been more tactical in nature and limited to implementations at the departmental level," Hedin added. "However, adopting companies are now ready to move from this pilot stage to embrace SOA at an enterprise-wide level. This major transition is not an easy one because every aspect of an organization will be impacted, especially the people. New roles and responsibilities have to be defined, new skills learned, new incentive programs, and new relationships established between functions and job positions. Service vendors must be ready to face this challenge."

The IDC study, Worldwide SOA Professional Services Vendor Analysis: 17 Service Firms Are Getting Ready to Address a Fast-Growing and Expanding Market Opportunity (IDC #33694), examines the competitive market of SOA-based services by profiling and comparing major service providers (mainly large, global service firms) with service offerings and capabilities within this arena. The study provides customers, alliance partners, and the financial community with insight into each firm's capabilities, strategic direction and key differentiating features in the SOA-based services market. In addition, the firms are ranked on the IDC Leadership Grid, which illustrates IDC's assessment of the players' positioning in terms of current and future potential to take market share in the SOA marketplace.

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