Survey: JBOWS will be around for a long time

We've only just started the evolution from JBOWS, or Just a Bunch of Web services, to SOA

In his post above, Britton dissects today's webMethods survey news, and wants to know if it tells us what the levers of opportunity are to SOA. The survey results are inconclusive on that count.

What the survey does tell us is we've only just begun our evolution from JBOWS, or Just a Bunch of Web services, to service-oriented architectures. 

Though webMethods is spinning the results as a "bullish" impending embrace of SOA, the statistics are telling us that Global 2000 organizations are still getting their arms around how to assemble Web services deployments into something more coherent. And, significantly, selling the whole concept to the corner office. 

More than 80 percent of the 480 respondents -- webMethods customers -- say they now use Web services within their enterprises. However, only 29% rate their overall SOA development as fairly mature (giving themselves a "6" or higher on a 1 to 10 maturity scale). Only one percent would rate their SOA maturity as a "9" or a "10."

Not that the Web services currently in place are chopped liver. The survey finds that more than half of the respondents (again, webMethods customers) were already conducting more than 10,000 Web services transactions per month. A handful, about six percent, were even handling more than one million Web services transactions per month.  Not bad.

What's the holdup with getting to SOA, then?  webMethods found three leading inhibitors, led off by business-related  issues, including a lack of general knowledge of SOA within their enterprise, cited by 17 percent, and the challenge of quantifying the ROI around SOA, cited by 15 percent.  Another 12 percent voiced concern with governing development standards within their enterprise.

Respondents seem to be well aware of the benefits SOA can bring. But what's interesting in this survey is the fact that there is no one leading driver for SOA. Large organizations seems to be all over the map as to what they want out of SOA. The largest segment, 20 percent, say they like SOA since it provides an ability to reuse services in the future. Another 18 percent cite lower integration costs, and 16 percent see SOA as a way to provide faster delivery of projects.  Interesting still is the fact that only 10 percent say that SOA provides a way to integrate with trading partners -- putting the whole B2B e-business scenario in the back seat for now.