IBM: SOA Adoption Up

An IBM survey shows SOA adoption on the rise.

IBM has announced the results of a survey that shows enterprises are moving beyond the adoption phase of service-oriented architecture toward more deployment of SOA technology and services.

The survey was conducted for IBM in April by the Link Group at IBM's Impact conference in Las Vegas, IBM's annual SOA conference. At the event, Link Group surveyed representatives from 300 enterprises about their SOA usage and plans. And according the survey, the rate of SOA deployments is on the rise. IBM announced the results of the Impact 2008 survey on June 11.

For instance, findings of the study showed that 50 percent of customers surveyed are currently deploying SOA, with another 27 percent piloting it. In addition, 42 percent of customers surveyed indicated SOA was their company's top spending priority in 2008.

SOA is a software architecture where functionality is grouped around business processes and packaged as interoperable services. According to IBM officials, SOA is a business strategy that helps enterprises reuse existing technology to more closely align it with business goals, driving efficiencies, cost savings, productivity, and enabling the creation of more modular and global business designs. IBM officials said SOA has grown increasingly popular among businesses looking to accelerate cost savings and a return on investment.

Moreover, the IBM survey showed that 60 percent of the customers surveyed said their current SOA projects span either the scope of their enterprise or an entire division. Among those customers, 96 percent described their most recent SOA projects as either "very successful" or "somewhat successful" this year.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of customers surveyed said their organization spent between 10 percent and 29 percent of its 2007 IT budgets on SOA.

In addition, in a separate but related study, IBM surveyed some of its existing SOA customers and found that SOA adoption is shifting from being a technology-led strategy to a business-led one. Business-centric SOA more than doubled, from 30 percent in 2006 to more than 70 percent in 2007, IBM officials said. Also, business expertise was ranked as the top criteria to select an SOA vendor-up 24 percent year to year. And 35 percent of customers indicated BPM (business process management) as a focus area for SOA, with 32 percent citing reuse as their primary focus.

The study of existing SOA customers also showed that the banking and insurance industries lead in the maturity of their SOA deployments, IBM officials said.

"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, marketing and channels at IBM.

"Establishing an SOA based on IBM WebSphere software has allowed us to serve our customers more efficiently and effectively by enabling total integration between our multiple business systems," said Chen Gang, director of Shanxi Mobile Communications Company.