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Services reuse drives ROI for SOA, survey finds

Software component reuse is catching on and paying off, said the head of Evans Data, which recently surveyed developers on their SOA project experiences.

Savings from services reuse is the most common economic benefit in SOA projects globally, according to a survey of 400 developers working with SOA or Web services conducted in September and October by Evans Data Corp.

"We've found that reuse is catching on and is paying off," said John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data, which released the survey today. "Three out of four developers surveyed say they frequently reuse services in their SOA projects. Tactical IT savings top the list for [Return on Investment] and that really comes back to code re-use. That's where the near-term ROI is coming from."

Despite present tough economic times, the recently completed survey indicates that SOA is still a top priority in IT organizations, with four out of five developers telling Evans Data that their shop has SOA in place or plans to move to it in the next 12 months.

A trend in funding for SOA that Andrews sees is that more financial support is coming from a central corporate account than from individual business departments, Andrews said. This solves the problem of various departments in an enterprise not wanting to pay for an SOA project that benefits other departments, he said.

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"It's somewhat of a disconnect from the old model," he said. "A single business unit may be unwilling to pay the startup costs. Many respondents have addressed this question with a more centralized source of funding coming from the overall corporate budget."

The survey conducted during the past two months did not ask about SOA budgeting in recessionary times. However, Andrews said, "We have seen an impact on all IT spending. So you could make a generalization that SOA would be impacted, though you could also say that because of its strategic importance it might be less impacted."

Other findings in the survey reported by Evans Data include:

  • Sixty percent of companies outsource at least some of their SOA work to outside third parties, though only 10 percent outsource more than half of it.
  • Those using Java for SOA projects are more likely to be creating applications for outside clients, while those using .NET tend more to be internal developers.
  • Microsoft and IBM are the two companies that command developers' attention when it comes to SOA and Web services.

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