A recent study by the Input Executive Forum, a trade organization representing federal contractors and agencies, contains warnings both for those building a service-oriented architecture and those currently working in the systems integration field.
The study looked at how the federal agency shift to service-oriented architecture is affecting IT government contractors. As it turns out, the news isn't so good, according to the Input senior analyst who performed the study, Deniece Peterson. She stated in the Input press release on the study:
Standardization is the backbone of SOA. For providers who usually supply proprietary solutions, this will force them to find other ways to be best-of-breed. If they don't, they'll just become very easily replaced.
In an InfoWorld article about the study, Peterson also pointed out that as government SOAs mature, contractors will see fewer requests for systems integration work.
So, if you're a systems integrator, it's time to re-evaluate your business plan. Your best option is to look at how you can provide services or fill the SOA-skill talent gap by offering government agencies those architects, developers and project managers with SOA expertise.
But the study also offered a caveat for IT divisions building SOAs.
Government agencies are finding the SOA-enabling solutions they bought include proprietary components that are, for want of a better term, mucking up their standards-based SOAs. Not good. Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the term, "Buyer beware," doesn't it?