25 April 2003 The pace of adoption of web services is surpassing initial analyst estimates and most senior level technology managers now view web services technology as enterprise-ready.
That is the finding of a recent global web services survey carried out by Accenture, the global services giant. It questioned more than 250 CIOs and other ‘C-level’ executives from six countries on their attitudes to web services technology.
Nearly nine-tenths of respondents claimed to be very or somewhat familiar with the concepts of web services, nearly four-fifths said they are currently evaluating implementing web services and more than three-quarters rank web services as a high or medium priority for their company.
Although there is still considerable confusion over the role of various vendors in the delivery of web services — and over web services standards — less than one-fifth of the respondents to Accenture’s survey said that they view web services as “cutting edge technology”.
More than half see it as a realistic possibility today and nearly one-third think of web services as already part of mainstream business practice.
“In the case of web services, it’s not wait and see, it’s try and see,” says John Kaltenmark, Accenture’s chief architect. “Web services are already delivering value by helping to leverage IT budgets more effectively,” he added.
The majority of companies are using or intend to use both internal and external web services applications, but for now, the main focus is on internal applications. Key areas today, according to Accenture, include employee benefits applications, ecommerce, customer relationship management, supply chain management and knowledge management.
Microsoft appears to be winning the platform war. Just over one-third of respondents named Microsoft .Net as their preferred platform for web services as opposed to just under one-quarter who plumped for J2EE. A further 28% said they would use a combination of both.