Public sector leads SOA push in Asia-Pac, says Forrester

Australia and NZ are ahead of the rest of Asia-Pacific and even of many US and European organisations in implementation of SOA, says analyst

Public sector organisations are likely to lead adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA) in the Asia-Pacific region, says a report from analyst firm Forrester Research.

Since government appreciates the benefit of shared ICT services and the need to improve value for money in ICT, they are likely to be early adopters of the concept, Forrester analyst Tim Sheedy says. Government agencies also have the governance structures essential to major SOA implementation already in place, he says.

The New Zealand government has a number of offerings in the shared services area, such as the government shared network, a common authentication system currently being deployed and a common secure email system already in use, as well as shared standards in website design and metadata.

Government’s early adopter status is borne out by responses to a question on organisations’ SOA readiness in a recent survey, co-authored by Sheedy. Twenty-four percent of public-sector organisations in the region say they have “an enterprise-level strategy and commitment” to SOA. They are narrowly edged out of first place in this category by the finance and insurance sector (28%) but more public-sector organisations show up in the next category, using SOA “selectively without a clear strategy”, where government registers 34% against 15% in finance and insurance. The public sector has the smallest proportion (22%) of organisations saying they are not pursuing SOA.

Forrester did not break out responses by country, only by sub-region, Sheedy says, so he cannot compare the characteristics of New Zealand organisations with those in Australia or with overall averages. The New Zealand sample size was in any case very small. But he says Australia and NZ together are ahead of the rest of Asia-Pacific and even of many US and European organisations in awareness and implementation of SOA.

In Australia and NZ, however, implementation tends to be departmental rather than coordinated across the whole enterprise. This may reflect the fact that the major consultancies do not have a specific SOA practice at this end of the world yet, so resources tend to be internal or from small-scale consultancies, he says.

The retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors are comparatively slow movers, with manufacturers looking as though they will follow their retail and wholesale partners.

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Tags government shared networkSOApublic sector

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