ZapThink, an analyst firm focused on SOA and XML, has offered some pioneering insights on the talent necessary to usher in a new era of Web services. Central to the movement will be skilled consultants, according to the firm. The key SOA consultants soon to be in demand are "service-oriented architects" and "business transformation consultants." SOA architects are expected to closely match business requirements to technology implementation, while transformation consultants will focus on the wider challenge of change and reorganization that the SOA movement enables.
The problem: a dearth of skilled and experienced people to assume these roles. "Even though consulting firms large and small are building SOA teams, the number of consultants they are training or putting into early SOA engagements is far less than the number that enterprises will require in the coming year to two years," states ZapThink's Jason Bloomberg. "There will be movement between small and large firms, as well as recruiting from industry, but there will also be a trend among consultants to leave their firms and work directly for enterprises. As a result, there will be a talent squeeze that will drive up the rates of the more experienced consultants, and drive down the quality of the average consultant, as large numbers of inexperienced and poorly trained consultants chase the rapidly growing, newly available opportunities."