Competitive Market for Web Services-based Professional Services Heats Up

IDC: All eyes are on strategic and long-term decisions around adopting standards-based services-oriented architectures

IDC: All eyes are on strategic and long-term decisions around adopting standards-based services-oriented architectures

Framingham, MA — May 13, 2004 — The market for Web services-based professional services is heating up, a new report published by IDC revealed.

According to the study, " Worldwide Web Services Implementation 2004 Vendor Analysis: Global Services Companies Now Crafting Services Oriented Architectures," services firms report significant increases in the number of projects, in project complexity and in the penetration of Web services in their every day services activities.

Clients are taking Web services standards more seriously and are turning experimentation into real implementation, IDC said.

"Services firms' worldwide Web services-related revenue will increase exponentially in 2004 as companies unveil robust pipelines of opportunities," said Sophie Mayo, director of Web Services Implementation Services research at IDC. "The attention does not revolve solely around Web services anymore. Instead, more eyes are turning to toward strategic and long-term decisions around adopting standards-based services-oriented architectures (SOAs)."

IDC's supply-side research, which compiles and analyzes the survey results received from eight global information technology (IT) services players during December 2003 and February 2004, revealed that services firms are offering a continuum of services not only around Web services, but also around SOAs, including consulting, integration, training, support and management.

About half have embedded their capabilities in refined existing services offerings, while the other half have adopted a dual approach, offering both Web services and SOA-specific services. Management services for Web services is still a work in progress for most, IDC stated.

Additional findings from IDC's study include the following:

* An increasing number of consultants got their hands dirty in 2003. Services firms are on a mission to train and educate their consultants/architects/developers with new tools, methodologies, architectures and platforms. The skills most needed in 2004 and beyond are business consultants and architects.

* The majority of projects in 2003 revolved around using Web services for internal and external integration. In 2004, SOA will become a major driver for Web services standards adoption in large enterprises. Projects are expected to increase in complexity, in size and duration.

* A great deal of transformational work will be embedded into outsourcing projects. Accenture, HP and Capgemini will be key players to make this transformational outsourcing trend a reality.

* From a regional perspective, IDC research indicated that projects are more likely to remain tactical but cutting-edge in Europe with a major focus on cost cutting initiatives, adoption of latest technologies and revenue creation. In the United States, large enterprises will more likely make strategic investments in SOAs. Adoption in Asia/Pacific will remain light in 2004.

One year after IDC presented an in-depth competitive analysis of leading participants in the multibillion dollar Web services-based professional services market, it revisited these service providers to understand how they have further developed their methodologies and capabilities, to hear their 2003 success stories and how they compared to the year before, and to explore their next steps.

The study provides a detailed profile of each participant, including their current viewpoints on Web services, capabilities, track records and planned areas of investment.

The eight companies interviewed were Accenture, Capgemini, Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Deloitte, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Fujitsu (Japan), Hewlett-Packard Services (HP Services) and IBM Global Services (IGS).