Contractors should prepare for SOA effects

Contractors should be ready for agencies to change their acquisition models as agencies adopt new service-oriented architecture initiatives, according to market research firm Input.

SOA calls for agencies to standardize their technologies, which could create a significant shift in the market, said Deniece Peterson, senior analyst with Reston, Va.-based Input's Executive Program.

"Standardization is the backbone of SOA," she said. "For providers who usually supply proprietary solutions, this will force them to find other ways to be best-of-breed. If they don't, they'll just become very easily replaced." On the other hand, providers who understand SOA and can market their offerings accordingly stand to gain.

So far, agencies have adopted SOA cautiously, and the effects have been slight in most cases, according to the Input report. But the firm's research shows that agencies are becoming comfortable with the concept, seeing its benefits and looking for new ways to implement the model. As a result, Input said, contractors should expect continued growth in the market, but not always in large programs.

"SOA opportunities may be buried in program requirements, mission support, or in task order purchasing," Peterson said. "This requires many contractors to re-think their sales strategy for SOA opportunities, at the least. They should also keep their eyes open in case hidden SOA implementation impacts their other areas of interest."

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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