IT Pros Improve Through Integration

As IT integration becomes increasingly important, Web services leads as the tool of choice.
Integration is a key issue for IT professionals, as companies increasingly incorporate software and services from multiple vendors. An Oracle-sponsored ITtoolbox survey of more than 400 global IT workers conducted during October 2003 revealed that companies are actively pursuing integration to improve existing systems.

Top Strategic Reasons for Pursuing Integration
Improve information access 66.6%
Increase accuracy and consistency of data 55.4%
Leverage existing resources and systems 48.5%
Reduce IT costs 47.4%
Improve employee productivity 44.6%
Enable online collaboration with business partners 43.1%
Not currently pursuing integration 6.1%
Other 4.6%
Source: ITtoolbox

Half of the respondents indicated that their IT integration budget for 2004 would increase over 2003's figures, while 28 percent expected it to stay the same. Only 8 percent felt a decrease was imminent.

The most popular integration effort that IT professionals expect to undertake is application-to-application, closely followed by data integration. Web services [define] is not only the third most popular integration effort, but also the B2B [define] protocol that the majority chose to support.

Planned Integration Efforts
Application-to-application 57.7%
Data integration 54.1%
Web services 44.1%
Business process management 42.9%
Portal integration 31.9%
Don't know 4.6%
None 2.6%
Other 2.6%
Source: ITtoolbox

More than half (55 percent) of survey participants indicated that they were currently using Web services technology, with roughly one-third finding the integration tool to have the greatest flexibility, and more than 28 percent anticipating the solution to become the future industry standard. More than one-quarter (26.3 percent) of respondents found Web services to improve efficiency, and 18.6 percent expected the tool to reduce costs.

Biggest Challenges to Widespread
Acceptance of Web Services
Security concerns 42.0%
Unclear standards 21.3%
Immeasurable return-on-investment 13.6%
Unexpected implementation costs 13.3%
Licensing restrictions 5.1%
Other 4.8%
Source: ITtoolbox

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