Organizations already embarking on SOA projects were asked, "If your organization has experience of SOA, how have the following challenges impacted your work to date?" The types of challenge presented fall into three basic categories: SOA enablement, performance, and management.
Despite the fact that technologies have undoubtedly matured over the last year, the challenges being discovered are, if anything, more significant in 2006 than in 2005. IDC believes that this is a reflection on the more difficult tasks being addressed through SOA projects.
"And I rather take this as not all together negative. It means people are trying to do diff things and they're moving past the trivial pilots and trying to do things that actual mean they've got to go and connect to these different to get at systems."
Security remains an issue that is of major concern for 50% of respondents, including the eight percent for which it was a show stopper.
Enablement Software Rules
Responses to the question, "What type of software do you expect to invest in to support SOA?" broken down into time bands of less than one year, one to two years, two to three years, or no current expectation.
Unsurprisingly, the immediate future is still dominated by the need for basic SOA infrastructure: message-oriented middleware (MOM) and enterprise service bus (ESB) technology.
Closely following these in immediate buying intentions are the metadata repository and service registry products, indicating that purchasers now have a good understanding of the need to put metadata management into place before the SOA scenario becomes too complex.
Process modeling tools are also good candidate technologies for short-term purchase, and this relates well to the earlier comments regarding the growth in recognition of the benefits of business process automation.
Compliance enforcement was not high on the list of short-term purchases, but had the highest number in the one-to-two year time band. IDC expects this type of product to become a high growth segment in 2007.
Management tools such as SLA management and security management appear to have balanced growth, with short-, mid- and long-term purchasing expectations.
The market segments with the least purchasing expectations are packaged applications and application components. This emphasizes the general expectation in the market that SOA deployments will focus on exploiting existing application investments before looking to make major new investments in application software.
The bottom line is, SOA is taking a more prominent role in the IT strategies of organizations, and in a small number of organizations it is already supporting significant live workloads.
This IDC study describes and analyzes the results of respondent surveys carried out at IDC's Service-Oriented Architecture Conferences in Amsterdam and London during March 2006.
There were over 200 end-user attendees at the conferences. Survey questionnaires were distributed for completion during the event, and nearly 100 completed survey forms were received.
This number of responses should not be seen as statistically significant, but provides a good indication of the experiences and requirements of those concerned with implementing SOA.
It should be noted in particular that these responses represent the views of an audience that has committed a day of its time to learning more about SOA, and therefore will have a greater level of awareness of the topic than a truly random selection would.