IDC: Full-Fledged Web Services at Least a Decade Away

Analysts at market research house IDC are throwing cold water on the idea that the revolutionary phase of Web services -- delivering software as services -- will take hold soon. According to IDC, that development is at least 10 years away.

"Few people dispute that Web services can, in its simple and early forms, contribute real benefits to solving the integration issues facing most large companies today," IDC analyst Rikki Kirzner said in a statement.

"But most of the Web services vision is just pure speculation, with no real consideration of what is achievable and what it will cost to actually build out the vision for full use on the open Internet.," Kirzner said.

IDC finds that business, legal and contractual obstacles exist above and beyond the technological barriers that existing Web services offerings don't yet address.

All that said IDC does see Web services as having potential. "The concept of Web services provides a compelling way for IT to become much more responsive and adaptable to changing business requirements," according to IDC.

Meanwhile, some technological Web services interoperability barriers may be getting lowered.

In a major step, disguised as a bureaucratic move, the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) created two new seats on its board of directors, which currently includes .NET Framework creator Microsoft but not J2EE creator Sun Microsystems.

The step could clear the way for Sun to join the board of the 150-member organization in March. It would end a feuding between the WS-I and Sun over Web services interoperability standards and set the organization up as a meaningful mechanism for bridging the gap between Microsoft's and Sun's opposing approaches to Web services.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.