June 11, 2008 11:25 ET

IBM Survey: SOA a Top Business Priority in 2008

Customers Accelerating From Adoption to Deployment Phase

ARMONK, NY--(Marketwire - June 11, 2008) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the results of a client survey that concludes that businesses around the world are quickly moving from the adoption phase of a service oriented architecture (SOA) strategy to the actual deployment of SOA technologies and services. According to the survey, the rate of SOA deployments is on the rise, an indication that business leaders are seeking the benefits of SOA for today's challenging business environments.

SOA is a business strategy that helps a company 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. SOA has grown increasingly popular among businesses looking to accelerate cost savings and a return on investment (ROI).

The survey was conducted for IBM by the Link Group and consisted of a sampling of 300 clients at the IBM IMPACT 2008 event, the industry's largest SOA conference, which drew nearly 6,300 technical and business leaders.

Key findings of the study indicate 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. This is a strong endorsement given that many companies are closely scrutinizing IT budgets.

In most cases, these aren't small SOA projects. Sixty percent of customers indicated that 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.

Among those companies working with IBM to establish an SOA strategy, many are quickly realizing the benefits. "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, Shanxi Mobile Communications Company.

Additional findings from the survey include:

--  73 percent of customers indicated their CEO understands the business
    value of SOA; more than half say their IT staff is meeting once per month
    or more with business managers they support.
--  45 percent of customers indicated they spent between 10 percent and 29
    percent of their 2007 IT budgets on SOA.
"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, WebSphere and SOA strategy, marketing and channels, IBM.

In a related study*, IBM surveyed existing customers on the current maturity of their SOA deployments. Some of the key findings include:

--  SOA adoption is shifting from technology to business led: Business-
    centric SOA more than doubled, from 30 percent in 2006 to over 70 percent
    in 2007.
--  The banking and insurance industries lead in the maturity of their SOA
--  Improving business flexibility is the top benefit sought from SOA.
--  Business expertise is ranked as the top criteria to select an SOA
    vendor -- up 24 percent year to year.
--  35 percent of customers indicated Business Process Management (BPM) as
    focus area for SOA, with 32 percent citing reuse.

IBM helps companies to fully embrace an SOA strategy by providing a broad portfolio of SOA software, services and support. By bringing together these components for clients around the world, IBM has emerged as the SOA industry leader with 64 percent market share according to WinterGreen Research**. With more than 6,550 SOA customer engagements and 5,000 SOA Business Partners, IBM has increased its SOA client and partner base by nearly 50 percent in less than one year.

About The Link Group

The Link Group is a market research consultancy that provides global research services to enterprise clients. For more information, go to The Link Group partners with clients to provide accurate market insights, in order to facilitate a more clear understanding of customers, and in turn, more empowered decision making.

For more information on IBM, go to

*IBM WebSphere Awareness, Consideration, Preference and Purchase (ACPP) Brand Diagnostic Study

**WinterGreen Research: SOA Infrastructure Market Shares Strategies, and Forecasts, 2008 to 2014

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