IT INTEGRATION PROJECTS ‘A CHALLENGE’
PMP survey finds integration technology, while vital, is no simple solution for UK businesses
Companies are prepared to make substantial investments in integration technologies but remain unhappy with progress in this area, according to a recent survey from PMP Research. Integrating older, legacy systems with new online developments remains a particular challenge, with 31% of those polled saying they are unable do this satisfactorily.
This is a worry, since only 6% of the sample deny that they have such a requirement currently. Just one in five (20%) feel that their legacy systems are ‘very well’ integrated with newer applications, while over a third (37%) describe integration efforts as merely ‘adequate’.
For the majority of companies taking part in the survey (86%), improved operational effectiveness is the primary goal of their integration and software development projects. This is followed by the desire to achieve end-to-end processes (74%) and to increase interaction with customers (54%).
Web services emerges as a key technology in this area, with 40% indicating they have also used this technology on an enterprise integration projects and 46% suggesting they may do so in future.
The main advantage of web services is seen as ease of communication with companies or trading partners, according to three-quarters of the sample (78%), while the principal drawback is identified as high development costs (42%).
Companies are much less enthusiastic about the potential for workflow or business process management (BPM) software in integration projects. Just 2% report they plan to use these technologies to a ‘very great extent’, whereas 45% anticipate only limited use and a quarter (25%) have no plans in this area.
Half of all respondents (59%) identify the ability to re-use software components as a key issue for their organisation, with 55% reporting this is a more important consideration currently than in the past. And a similar proportion (57%) believe technologies such as J2EE and .NET make this a more achievable goal now than ever before.
As well as the problems of linking legacy systems to planned new applications, which is cited by 58%, organisations list skills shortages (56%), difficulty in calculating ROI (56%), problems in defining user requirements (54%) and lack of investment (54%) as the key challenges they face in software development.
However, spending on integration continues to account for a large slice of many IT budgets. A quarter of those surveyed (23%) reckon integration efforts consume between 10% and 20% of their IT budget and 14% estimate integration accounts for between 20% and 30% of their IT spend.
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UK, European or global basis, typically within the IT, telecoms and professional services
Clients include Accenture, KPMG, AT&T, Cisco, Oracle and SAP.
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