British enterprises are adopting web services quickly, but fears over return on investment (ROI) and security are holding some firms back.
A survey of 113 IT managers at UK enterprises, conducted by e-media for web services infrastructure company webMethods, found that more than a half had tried web services to some extent.
Of those who had not, 42 per cent cited difficulty in working out the ROI of web services projects as their reason for not using the technology. Only 12 per cent said that security concerns were holding them back.
The survey also found that 30 per cent of those questioned had major or mission critical web services applications running, with another 24 per cent running minor or pilot projects.
The key reason for moving into web services was seen as encouraging partners or customers to move towards self-service.
But analysts expressed surprise at the high take up. "That figure of over 50 per cent sounds rather big to me," said Lawrence Wilks, principal analyst at online web services portal the CBDi Forum.
"It is difficult to measure, of course. If you've installed .Net in any capacity then you've got a measure of web services. There's certainly a huge wave of interest in the market compared to two years ago."
John Dillon, marketing director at webMethods, agreed that the market had developed much in the last two years, but suggested that a clearer picture would emerge in 12 months' time.
"Two years ago web services were almost entirely the domain of the pilot project," he said in a statement.
"It is a real market development to see that 30 per cent of web services projects are seen as mission critical or major.
"However, the key indicator of web services adoption will be the number of mission critical IT projects based on web services in a year's time."
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