A new study out of IDC concludes that spending on Web services will increase seven-fold over a five-year period. The analyst firm says there's a shift underway, from simple Web services creation to more "robust consumption," defined as "security, management, messaging and event processing, and the assembly of services into composite solutions." IDC estimates that $2.3 billion was spent worldwide on total Web services software in 2004, more than double the amount from the previous year. IDC expects spending to continue to increase to $14.9 billion by 2009.
We hear about these billion-dollar markets all the time, what do these numbers mean? To paraphrase the cynical Inside-the-Beltway saying, a billion here, a billion there - soon it adds up to something, right?
One aspect that can be calculated in hard numbers is the revenue that service providers (IBM Global Services, EDS, CSC, to name a few) will be bringing in as a result of Web services/SOA engagements. There's a few billion right there. Then, there's the specialized SOA tools market, the Systinets, Optimyzes, Cape Clears, and Parasofts, and so forth, which are growing into the hundreds of millions collectively. Then there are the large infrastructure solution vendors with Web services/SOA-enabling products, such as development tools, and platforms, such as the WebLogics, AquaLogics, WebSpheres, and so forth.
But at what point does the Web services aspect blend into the IT tools and platforms market as a whole. Every piece of software worth its digital salt supports some aspect of Web services now, be it XML or an open interface. Yes, I make the presumption that Web services/SOA will be pervasive, ubiquitous, omnipresent, and omnipotent. If everybody's doing it, and it forms the mechanics of every new system and application, can we call it a separate market?