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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The web services development model is rapidly gaining ground among IT executives and developers, according to a new survey released by research firm Evans Data Corp. The survey found that 98% of IT managers will be developing web services-enabled applications within two years, while 75% are already incorporating some level of web services functionality into applications today.

The Summer 2002 Enterprise Development Management Issues Survey is based on in-depth interviews with more than 400 IT executives, and explores a variety of issues including web services, security, mobile and wireless development, Linux and open source software, technology adoption, planned projects and developer tools and platforms.

While web services have been heavily promoted as a means to develop B2B interoperability, the survey found support for internal enterprise applications is the most prevalent area of deployment. At present, just over 15% of respondents indicate that a majority of their web services deployments will support B2B applications, while more than one in five enterprise developers say that a majority of their web services deployments will support internal enterprise applications.

The survey found that one of the biggest concerns surrounding the web services model is security and authentication, with 47% of respondents viewing this as the biggest obstacle to implementing web services. Evans said that this is about the same level of response as the last survey six months ago. Other concerns identified include the robustness of the network to deliver web services applications, with 22% seeing this as the biggest obstacle, again similar to the last survey, while 13% of respondents are concerned about potential interoperability of applications interacting through a web services architecture.

This is down from six months ago, when 18% of respondents said that interoperability would be the biggest obstacle to web services implementation. The fall in concern over interoperability could be linked to the creation of the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), an independent initiative of over 100 vendors set up in February that aims to drive interoperability between different vendors implementations of web services standards.

Evans said that while these concerns or obstacles appear to be on the minds of developers working in all vendor environments, they appear to be especially pronounced among developers working with the two biggest web services proponents - Microsoft and IBM.

In addition to the web services trend, the survey found that wireless development continues to be an area of focus, with 40% of respondents expecting to extend wireless access to their large enterprise systems, consistent with the previous survey. The survey also found that the percentage of mainframe sites expecting to increase their usage now surpasses those expecting to scale back. About 29% of companies with mainframes said they expect to increase their usage over the next two years, up from 22% in the last survey.

In terms of overall IT expenditure and development, the Evans survey found that most money will be spent on the ongoing maintenance of existing systems and software, with 70% of respondents stating that this will account for a significant portion or their efforts. Web-enabling existing applications has risen from third to second place on priority lists since the last survey, with 55% of companies expecting to spend money on this, while 52% of respondents intend to go forward with the addition of new functions to existing applications, slightly down from 60% six months ago.

© ComputerWire

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