Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive for the IBM Software Group, vehemently denied the suggestion that SOA did not have customer benefits at its heart.
"I would challenge anyone to find a company that isn't trying to make IT more efficient. They don't want five customer relationship management systems or 30 ledgers," he said.
Mills went on to paint a bleak picture for companies not attempting to adopt a model based on efficiency.
"The alternative is that all your apps are disconnected, your business ratios are the worst in the market and your company is on the brink of bankruptcy," he warned.
"SOA, enterprise application integration, it doesn't matter what today's buzzword is. What chief information officers want is to run IT more efficiently and effectively, not to acquire more redundant IT. Everyone is on a path to shared services and greater efficiency, and this is what SOA is about."
Mills was also quick to downplay suggestions that the forthcoming Oracle/Sun merger might have a detrimental effect on the future of Java.
"The vendor community are existing licensees of Java, and Oracle is one of them," he said, adding that Oracle has a huge installed base of Java users.
"Java is provided as source code, and we conform to the standards and structure to keep the Java branding. I don't believe we'll see a fundamental change in that."
Mills also saw a positive aspect of the tie-up, noting that Oracle had been keen for Sun to move more aggressively to push Java forwards. "We think that the forces at play in the market will keep Java as a standard and consistent," he said.
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