According to a recent IDC study, companies will significantly increase investments in service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based services throughout the rest of 2006. The study, which analyzes the results of an IDC end-user survey of U.S.-based companies, reveals that the majority of respondents rated SOA as important to their overall IT and business strategy and further indicated that they are planning to purchase SOA-related services by the end of 2006. IDC cites a significant opportunity for service vendors to assist companies in implementing SOA, and believes vendors must continue their education efforts, provide guidelines and demonstrate business benefits to reach the majority of potential SOA users.

"Companies which will try to implement SOA on their own without any outside help from a services vendor will soon discover that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to successfully roll out a large or corporate-wide SOA initiative without considering the impact on the organization and its employees," said Marianne Hedin, program manager for IDC's Worldwide Services and Service-Oriented Architecture: The Services Opportunity programs. "To help them tackle the various issues involving organizational change they will need a service vendor."

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