Platform choice mission critical in Web services roll out

Platform choice mission critical in Web services roll out

By Siobhan Chapman

One in two Australian enterprises are in the midst of implementing Web services, according to research released by CSC. However, analysts have forecast that the coming year will be a year of critical technology decisions.

Up to 47 per cent of Australian enterprises are already implementing a project with a further 17 per cent evaluating opportunities, according to research commissioned by systems integrator and outsourcer CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation). Research group Taylor Nelson Sofres surveyed 150 large Australian enterprises with IT budgets between $160,000 and $65 million a year and annual turnovers of more than $40 million on the topic of Web services.

CSC's global Web services expert, Donal O'Shea, said Web services implementation in Australia was "highly sophisticated", citing the system used by the Western Australian Department of Justice as an example.

CSC said that the study found 84 per cent of companies used Web services for interfacing or sharing functionality, 82 per cent for extracting and presenting information and 76 per cent for developing applications using Web services technologies. The research also claimed that one in three companies expected their 2003 IT budget to be between $1.2 million and $10 million. A further 40 per cent expected to increase their IT investment next year.

The most frequently used or intended technologies for Web services were Microsoft .NET (29 per cent), J2EE/Java (20 per cent) and IBM WebSphere (13 per cent).

These findings support claims made by Meta Group analyst John Brand, at a Web services conference in Sydney in October, hosted by events organiser marcus evans. According to Mr Brand, choosing a platform will be a critical decision for organisations, and will come down to J2EE and .NET. "Choosing between J2EE and .NET may be the most critical decision organisations make during 2002 to 2003," Mr Brand said.

Mr O'Shea said the biggest problem for IT professionals is putting different systems together as Web services is "like a bogey for a train that makes it run on different gauges".

"Web services isn't a silver bullet to solve all IT problems, but it is being taken up by many companies that see value in sharing functionality across enterprises," he said.

Related Articles:

Combined application server, portal and integration from BEA
Sun offers a free Java carrot to tempt ISVs away from .Net

Business Solution: