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Web Services Overtakes Security

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[ Technology]

Coverage of the Society of Information Management’s annual SIMposium conference reveals that Web services technology has eclipsed security as the top focus for senior IT executives.

Analysts cite the recent boom in service-oriented architecture (SOA) and a general comfort zone enjoyed by IT professionals about security threats as the catalyst for pushing Web services to the top and security to third place for the first time in years.

In fact, until this year, Web services had not even made the top six. Business intelligence nestled into second place among top technologies, followed by security, business process management, customer portals, and systems integrations. The survey of 139 SIM members also revealed an upswing in IT budgets and salaries.

But an increase in budgets and salaries isn’t focused entirely at home. Those IT budgets also reflect and increase in offshore outsourcing. Current budgets allocate 4.2 percent to outsourcing, up from 3.1 percent last year, with increases to 4.8 percent next year.

The increase in virtualization and SOA is clearly reflected in Oracle’s blowout quarter as the company exceeded industry analyst predictions. The boom was so great in Oracle’s business, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was obliged to brag about it at length, at the expense of SAP.

Ellison felt the reason for Oracle’s success was the company’s focus not only on SOA, but also a standards-based middleware approach, especially in ERP. Oracle grew by 80 percent in two quarters.

Many have found the drop in security concern surprising. Martin Ksrek puts in his explanation on his blog:

To me this however reinforces the fact that Security (amongst other mandatory IT disciplines) is a grudge purchase, and its position probably accurately reflects the fact that there are probably very few new threats that the IT Executive has had to deal with recently, and for now, securing the company information, has tended to be more routine.

The need for security has not dropped off in importance, and it would take only one well publicized successful threat, for the “order of importance” to adjust.

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