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Will Security Stand in the Way of Web Services?

Will Security Stand in the Way of Web Services?

(October 15, 2002) - Web services is gaining ground as a business strategy in Europe, where 54 percent of surveyed CIOs agree that Web services will fundamentally change how businesses use the Web. Most also state that the enabling technology, alongside security and application integration, will top their spending priorities for the year.

The research, commissioned by BEA Systems and conducted by SWR Worldwide, polled 320 chief information officers and IT directors throughout France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and the UK. Fifty-nine percent of respondents stated that their organization "clearly sees the benefits of Web services." Web services are perceived as a way to build tighter relationships with customers and partners, improve efficiency and deliver services faster and cheaper, and improve enterprise agility. However, when all respondents are asked to say what they think the biggest hurdle for companies to use Web services, 46% of senior IT managers say it is security concerns.

"It does not surprise us that security is cited as a barrier to Web services," noted Alan Banks, managing director, BEA Systems UK and Ireland. "Security continues to dominate industry discussions and our findings confirm that European organizations are dedicating funds to address the problem."

Web services appears ready to dominate the market, with 70 percent of CIOs planning to implement a platform approach to enterprise computing by 2005. Currently, more than half (54 percent) of senior IT professionals across Europe say that their company uses Web services, with 34 percent saying they are satisfied with the results and 20 percent saying they are dissatisfied.

What are CIOs looking for when considering Web services? "A solution based on standards" was the most important factor to 31 percent, followed by scalability/extensibility (28 percent), comprehensiveness of a solution (15 percent), price (seven percent), and performance (six percent.)

The majority of IT directors favoring Web services listed enabling technologies as high in their spending priority for the year ahead. When asked to volunteer which industry sector they think is most likely to adopt Web Services and see benefits the fastest, senior IT professionals are most likely to say financial services"(22 percent) and business services (13 percent).

"The results reflect the senior IT professional's challenge in today's business environment. We've seen the mass adoption of various disparate enterprise software systems over the past 30 years from MRP in the 70s to CRM in the 90s. The challenge now is to sustain the implementation of application infrastructures. This can provide organizations with a platform from which they can better manage and maximize current technologies whilst ensuring future strategies are supported by a range of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)," commented Banks.

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