Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) represent an evolutionary approach to distributed computing that promises a flexible IT environment that leads to business agility. As companies look to leverage the business advantages of Web Services to address strategic business needs, they are increasingly looking to build SOAs. However, SOAs require special skills and expertise. When companies do not have such skills in-house, they turn to consultants, system integrators, and other professional services organizations.
The movement to SOAs present both opportunities and threats to consulting firms: on the one hand, there will be an increased demand for architectural consulting, business process consulting and the implementation tasks associated with building SOAs. On the other hand, as SOAs take hold and Service-oriented process solutions supplant integration solutions, the market for system integration will dry up, requiring system integrators to change their business focus.
This report analyzes the market for SOA within professional services organizations from three perspectives: from the point of view of the consulting firm, who must understand how its business must change; from the perspective of the enterprise user, who must select and manage a consultant; and from the point of view of software vendors who wish to work with consultants to help them meet the needs of their customers.