Vanson Bourne Research Points Way Forward for EAI Market

9 February 2004 - The latest research from IT consultancy, Vanson Bourne underlines the urgent need for enterprise application integration (EAI) solutions and highlights the factors that must be in place to drive the market forward. The research, completed independently by Vanson Bourne for applications software vendor InterSystems at the end of 2003, polled the views of IT directors of enterprises across the UK, France and Germany with annual revenues in excess of £50 million.

In order to indicate shifts and trends in the market, the survey sample was asked to respond again at the end of the year to questions originally answered in April 2003. A clear majority of respondents: - 67 per cent (at the end of the year) up from 66 per cent (in April) felt that 'unless businesses overcome the conflict between development and integration, they will lose their competitive edge'.

"This result reflects the fact that existing products and technologies have proven unsuitable for managing the increasing incidence of convergence between integration and development projects, leading to conflict between the two," says Trevor Matz, InterSystems director of enterprise application integration. "Consequently, today's CIOs and systems integrators are increasingly demanding comprehensive platforms, like the InterSystems Ensemble solution, which can handle the full range of integration and composite application development projects essential for the real-time enterprise."

The survey also reveals an urgent need for shorter development times and more creative solutions at the integration/development interface with 67 per cent of respondents in April identifying this as the key driver to making the interface more effective. Support for this proposition grew through the year, with 75 per cent in agreement by the end of 2003.

"The ability to support rapid application development should be a key benefit of any enterprise application integration platform," adds Matz. "InterSystems Ensemble, for example, has a unified graphical, XML and code-based development environment. This accelerates modelling and automating business processes for business analysts and developers alike and supports the rapid, service-oriented development of composite applications that leverage existing data and functionality."

Meanwhile, on the commercial front, the survey shows there is consensus about the best route to market for EAI projects. Typically, IT directors seeking a solution in the field of Business Process Management (BPM) are looking for quality partnerships between independent vendors, integrators and consultants - such as that provided by InterSystems with its Ensemble Implementation Partner Programme.

Such partnerships are much preferred to single source solutions. Again, support for this view has grown throughout the year with 65 per cent of respondents agreeing with the proposition at the end of the year, up from 56 per cent in April.

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