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Will Web services ROI improve in 2004?

Do you think Web services will begin to yield ROI more prominently in 2004?

One of the main drivers for the rapid adoption of Web services is that they significantly reduce the total cost of integration.

Better yet, ongoing costs for maintenance and change management are dramatically cut because of the loose coupling inherent in creating SOA's using Web services. An SOA is forgiving of change: altering a business process composed of Web services won't break existing connections and require extensive reprogramming.

Web services can also be deployed incrementally, without significant upfront investment or risk to the business. It's easy for a project manager to quickly show proof-of-concept of an idea, then scale-up. In fact, this is a common mechanism for Web services proliferating inside the enterprise – it often first begins as a ground-up, departmental or project-based adoption pattern before enterprise architects become involved.

Web services can be deployed quickly by non-specialized staff, and software license fees are a fraction of alternative and proprietary integration technology. It's not uncommon for a Web services project costs to be one-tenth that of using alternative approaches.

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