BEA Systems, Inc., a leading application infrastructure software company, announced the findings of a study(1) that demonstrates tremendous potential for enterprise-wide cost savings by leveraging an integrated Application Platform Suite (APS). The study, based on a detailed analysis of projects and data from systems integrators and Fortune 500 enterprises, highlights significant time to market and cost advantages – 22 percent faster, 25 percent less cost and assets – for IT initiatives implemented on an integrated platform when compared to projects implemented on a non-integrated platform.

This study compares the time to market and skills required for applications development, integration, deployment and maintenance on an integrated versus non-integrated platform. The study compares integrated versus non-integrated Application Platform Suites by analyzing more than fifty steps across the key stages of an application life cycle. Results reflect the inputs of numerous organizations including systems integrators and several industry-leading enterprises. The results identify significant benefits in six major areas of enterprise IT:

  • Time-to-Market Savings – one in every five days saved in time to market with an integrated platform
  • Skill-Set Advantages – savings of up to 50 percent in time required of architects and senior J2EE engineers
  • Cost Savings – combined savings in time-to-market and utilization of senior IT resources result in cost savings of 25 percent across the application lifecycle
  • Reuse – An integrated platform promotes reuse, leading to savings of 30-65 percent in subsequent projects
  • Adaptability – benefits of using an integrated platform grow over time, enabling IT to align its resources more effectively with the needs of the business and deliver greater business value
  • Risk mitigation – a common environment for collaborative development, with ensured interoperability and reuse of skills and software, minimizes training costs, risk and errors

Traditionally, applications were built, integrated and managed on disparate, proprietary software platforms-often requiring costly maintenance and consulting efforts, resulting in longer time to value for customers. In October 2002, Gartner Research hypothesized that, "a mature APS – that is, a platform that is well-integrated and providing strong management and development capabilities – may be more cost-effective and less risky than a best-of-breed composite – software infrastructure."(2) This study was designed to investigate that hypothesis, comparing an IT infrastructure built on an integrated platform to that of a non-integrated platform, with the latter consisting of disparate application server, integration and portal technologies marketed under a common brand but lacking a common middleware infrastructure and an integrated development environment.
The study found that an integrated platform leads to savings during every phase of the application life cycle, from design to post-deployment operations. Of these savings, 50 percent of the time and costs saved from the integrated platform emerge in the first year of operations. Since most applications are supported well in excess of a year, ongoing labor savings is a powerful driver in favor of an integrated platform approach, and a potential source of even greater value than has been documented in the course of this study.

The full report, entitled, "Application Platform Suites An Architectural Cost Analysis," can be found at:

1 This case study, sponsored by BEA Systems, applied the Total Value of Opportunity (TVO) ROI methodology, designed by Gartner, to develop the results. The methodology-based results and their use by BEA should not be deemed an endorsement of any BEA product or service, data, or sales technique. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, of the fitness of results for a particular purpose. Methodology results should not be deemed as an industry average and may vary from published Gartner research.
2 "APSs Can Be Useful for Composite Applications," M. Pezzini, Gartner, Inc., October 2002

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