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Empirix puts 2008 trends into perspective

Bracknell, UK 28 March 2008 – With exotic-sounding buzzwords like mash-up, composite application and web-oriented architecture (WOA) being the talk of the industry in 2007, just how feasible are these and other Internet trends in reality? And what are the majority of companies actually implementing in their web environments in practice? Empirix, the experts for testing and monitoring web applications, has almost unparalleled insight into this area. Based on the company’s experience with over 3,500 customers around the world, Empirix experts have identified the following trends for 2008:

Uncertainty prevails

The good news is that no predominant technological trends are developing that will supplant all others. The bad news, however, is that there is no clear trend when it comes to web application technologies and standardization. The result is considerable uncertainty among CIOs and IT managers. One thing is clear, however: application complexity is set to surge.

SOA or WOA?

While the concept of service-oriented architecture (SOA) – in which systems are adapted to workflows – is still a hot topic, some analysts are already predicting the imminent rise of web-oriented architecture (WOA). But what is actually happening in practice? According to Empirix, SOA hasn’t even begun to establish itself. Rather, enterprises are setting up individual system areas from an SOA perspective but shunning the ‘big bang’ transition – true to the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. So for the moment, WOA is much more about hype than reality.

Mismatched expectations: customer-driven experience

A key driver in the establishment of new web applications is the expectations of end-customers, which are increasing exponentially. People want their online experience to be faster, more vibrant and interactive than ever before. The trouble is, most existing web applications use technology that simply isn’t up to the job – leading to an increase in dissatisfied customers, who are only a click away from competitor sites.

Social networking is not alone

So, which web content is set to dominate in 2008? Social networking will remain strong, even if people outgrow the current ‘darlings’ of the social networking world, and start to migrate to new networks. Virtual flirting, file-sharing and real-time communication (IM, blogging, etc.) are the leading drivers of interactive web use today, but gaming, shopping, travel and e-learning will continue to boom and demand a high degree of interaction. The downside is likely to be a sharp rise in the frequency of ‘outages’, as application complexity and the numbers of users increase massively. At the same time, with greater personal interaction over the Web, data protection will be an increasingly sensitive issue.

Open Source: the knight in shining armour?

The increasing relevance of Open Source software and platforms provides a clear response to the current uncertainty about technology trends. Open Source solutions offer companies enormous flexibility in terms of web application design and quality assurance. The Open Source community is also gathering momentum as a result of companies’ internal pressure to cut costs: in contrast to proprietary solutions, Open Source offers flexibility and is often much more cost effective.

Testing times

The vast majority of organizations continue to test the quality of their web applications manually. This is astonishing, given the availability of a wide range of excellent automation solutions that effectively make time-consuming manual testing obsolete for many applications. Nevertheless, numerous companies – including many large ones – still seem to prefer to engage hordes of offshore teams performing manual tests around the clock. The main problems with these multi-zone solutions are to do with communication and collaboration with development and testing teams ‘back home’. We believe the outsourcing trend will continue, increasing the requirement for seamless inter-team collaboration.

Growing pressure for software standards

As a relatively new sector, the software industry still doesn’t have universal, binding quality standards. Companies that distribute badly programmed software tend not to be held accountable. Despite (or perhaps because of) the fast-paced development of the industry, it has so far managed to dodge the imposition of binding standards. According to Empirix, however, this is set to change over the coming years as pressure for standards continues to build from regulators and customers alike.

And what does Empirix recommend for 2008?

Organizations must recognize that:

1. Their web presence is a critical face to the customer
2. New applications need new testing techniques
3. There are no second chances when it comes to online loyalty
4. The sector must itself champion software standards, or have them imposed by regulators.

About Empirix

Empirix helps organizations adopt complex communications solutions with confidence. We combine the industry’s deepest knowledge of telecommunications and self-service applications with award-winning testing and monitoring solutions to ensure our customers realize the promise of their technology investments. Empirix is the only company with expertise that spans the evolution of these advanced technologies across multiple markets – from testing in R&D labs through monitoring the end-user experience. For over a decade, thousands of quality-conscious network equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprises worldwide have trusted Empirix to reduce the time and cost of integrating new technologies into existing environments.

Visit www.empirix.com.

Media contacts:

David Mieny
Six Degrees for Empirix
Tel: +44 (0)1628 480 280
Email: david.mieny@sixdegreespr.com / jennifer.janson@sixdegreespr.com

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