It is widely predicted that almost a third of leading European businesses will include an offshore element in their IT plans by 2005 and that a quarter of IT jobs will move offshore by 2010 (Gartner Group, March 2004). However research released today reveals that IT directors believe there to be major pitfalls in this latest boardroom buzz. When questioned as to what they felt these were, 73 percent of IT directors cited hidden costs, followed by 56 percent believing the loss of intellectual property was a serious issue. (Other pitfalls identified included the inability to safeguard architectural compliance and high rates of project failure.)

Moreover, 67 percent of UK IT directors are ignorant of any alternative or complementary solutions to offshoring.  Given that model driven architecture (MDA) can provide a less risky and more cost-effective solution - promising savings in excess of 40 percent in comparison to the 30-35 percent that might be achieved through offshoring projects - it's surprising that 76 percent of IT directors questioned have never heard of it. Results indicate that organizations could be potentially losing hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result of lack of awareness of viable substitutes for the growing offshore epidemic. 

Results of the survey conducted revealed that only 7 percent of IT directors were using or planning to use MDA in the next six months.

According to Michael Blechar, vice president and research director at analyst firm Gartner, MDA is a "forced march." Right, wrong or indifferent, he said, "It's going to happen. It's effectively a done deal."

MDA is a software standards-driven approach to automating the translation of business logic into working software. An initiative created and coined in 2000 by the Object Management Group (OMG), MDA denotes an evolving family of standards intended to advance the field of software engineering into the next generation. It involves removing many of today's most persistent sources of cost and risk permanently allowing engineers to focus on other issues, such as IT productivity and business needs. It enables the production of the framework of tools which allow business analysts to import design goals at one end, before turning a handle and producing working code at the other.

MDA is built on the OMG's unified modeling language (UML) and can reduce complexity and software migration/adaptation/extension efforts, increase implicit software quality and significantly improve developer performance.





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