Australia still largest SOA market in the region

Choosing an SOA vendor, users rely on reputation

The service oriented architecture (SOA) market in Asia (excluding Japan) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent right through to 2010, according to new research released today.

Springboard Research estimates the region's SOA market amounts to US$810 million with the market set to top US$2.2 billion by 2010.

Australia remains the largest SOA market in the region at US$205 million.

The company's senior analyst of emerging software, Balaka Baruah Aggarwal, said SOA continues to gain traction in the market as more companies are either implementing SOA or are planning to do so.

Aggarwal said awareness has increased substantially in the last year, and this is translating into healthier adoption levels across Asia.

The primary SOA drivers in Asia are improved service delivery in increasingly competitive markets and improved integration at both the data and application levels.

Respondents said service delivery improvements enabled by SOA have reduced the time and cost of delivering services.

Aggarwal said mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are also strong drivers for SOA deployment with 49 percent of firms surveyed deploying SOA to integrate the IT systems of merged companies.

"Governance is also continuing to become more important with 85 percent of survey respondents instituting governance in SOA deployments and 40 percent having a structure integrated from the beginning of implementation," he said.

"While SOA continues to do well in the region, users still have some challenges. The main challenge with SOA deployment as named by survey respondents is managing performance and scalability, with 21 percent citing this difficulty as their number one area of concern.

"Additionally, SOA is still largely a technology initiative led by IT managers as indicated by 68 percent of our surveyed respondents; as such, SOA has mainly been a technology-driven investment instead of an investment focused on addressing clear-cut business goals."

This claim was supported by CIOs who spoke to Computerworld last week about their SOA journey. .Shepparton Council CIO, Rod Apostol, said one of the biggest challenges is selling the SOA vision to business.

"It isn't easy selling the need for integration as its not a sexy topic; the truth is it is a hidden infrastructure cost," he said.

"It was our job to demonstrate to business how costly it is to maintain siloed systems; but the upfront costs of integration is also costly."

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Ebsworth and Ebsworth Lawyers began its SOA roadmap in early 2006 and expects the bulk of its efforts to be completed by 2009.

The company's knowledge and innovation director, Lionel Bird, said IT organizations are well on the way to abandoning siloed systems but its simply impractical to replace current investments.

"This has led to a fundamental rethink of IT architectures. Coupled with the need to drive innovation through the use of technology, we are being forced to add value without ripping out legacy systems, this is where SOA comes in," Bird said.

The Springboard report said IBM remained the leading SOA vendor in the region, followed by other strong SOA players such as Microsoft, BEA, HP, SAP, Tibco and Oracle.

From its end-user survey, Springboard found that respondents named "proven products and solutions" as the most important reason for choosing an SOA vendor, followed by "clearly defined roadmap for deployment" and "vendor reputation".