Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Set to Dramatically Change Federal IT Marketplace

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Vendors with proprietary elements could be severely impacted by a SOA-driven standardized environment.


SOA shifts the concept of the application into a highly dynamic and fluid marketplace of plug-and-play services

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is emerging as a powerful tool for technology modernization, efficiency, and cost savings in the federal government. According to a recent report from INPUT, the authority on government business, the government's incremental move towards SOA will fundamentally change how it will acquire and deliver internal and citizen-facing services. The benefits of SOA, such as increased agility in service delivery, better control and reuse of assets and processes, and better IT and business alignment, are driving the growth of SOA in the federal market. To realize these benefits, agencies will need to reevaluate a number of factors - from acquisition strategies and program lifecycles to governance and organizational culture.

The changes associated with SOA will have a tremendous impact on industry, particularly software development and systems integration providers. Over time, incremental projects will likely replace many of the large scale integration projects seen currently, and SOA process design, development and orchestration will take precedence over traditional application development. New software categories, such as services repositories, dynamic component testing, and automated governance will likely emerge. Procurement models may also be impacted, as agencies look for tiered or variable pricing, and transition from "people-based" to "capabilities-based" systems integration.

"SOA shifts the concept of the application into a highly dynamic and fluid marketplace of plug-and-play services," stated Deniece Peterson, senior analyst at INPUT. "A function previously performed by one vendor's application could now be completed by a number of discrete services provided by a multitude of providers. The standardized environment required to make this happen could severely impact the provider who relies heavily on proprietary elements for competitive advantage."

It is still early enough for contractors to help shape the federal SOA market. But SOA changes the game significantly and requires contractors to adjust their strategies accordingly. It will be important for providers to develop pre-built, SOA-ready solutions that can be easily integrated into the customer's environment. Security and governance, two of the primary challenges of SOA implementation, must be front and center in conversations with customers. Change management expertise could be a significant differentiator as agencies deal with the cultural challenges of transitioning to SOA. "Agencies are still assessing SOA for their unique technical environments," Peterson says. "Contractors have an opportunity to shape the market with well-developed business strategies and thought leadership."

These findings and others were released in an INPUT Industry Insights Report, ''Service-Oriented Architecture: Implications for Government and Industry.'' More details are available at .

EDITOR'S NOTE: To speak with the report author regarding this release, please contact Helena Brito at or 703-707-4161.

INPUT is the authority on government business. Established in 1974, INPUT helps companies develop federal, state, and local government business and helps public sector organizations achieve their objectives. Over 1,300 member organizations, including small specialized companies, new entrants to the public sector, and the largest government contractors and agencies, rely on INPUT for the latest and most comprehensive procurement and market information, consulting, powerful sales management tools, and educational & networking events. For more information about INPUT, visit or call 703-707-3500.

Proper use of name is INPUT


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