London – 4 January 2007

UK’s German counterparts more likely to understand benefits of SOA and achieve better business-IT alignment

ILOG® (NASDAQ: ILOG; Euronext: ILO, ISIN: FR0004042364), today announced the findings of a piece of research conducted by Vanson Bourne into UK and German financial services department heads’ attitudes to business-IT alignment within their organisations. The survey, comparing opinion in Europe’s primary financial capitals, found that despite recent widespread discussion of service oriented architecture (SOA) within the IT community, business users still need to be educated on how SOA can positively impact their day-to-day job. 89% of department heads in UK financial services firms have never heard of the concept, compared to 68% of German financial services respondents surveyed.

Of those surveyed in the UK who had heard of SOA, 63% were not aware of the benefits of adopting such an approach. In Germany however there was a clearer understanding of the potential benefits of an SOA strategy with only 5% of department heads who had heard of SOA unaware of the advantages it can bring to business.

These findings were part of a broader survey into business-IT alignment, which found that overall German financial services firms are racing ahead of their UK counterparts when it comes to aligning business objectives with IT. 51% of UK respondents have a dedicated plan for how IT should support the business objectives within their department, but that figure is compared to 77% in Germany. As a result, it is perhaps not surprising to find that 40% of UK representatives polled did not believe that the day-to-day operations between their department and IT were well-aligned compared with only 14% in Germany.

Julian Fowler, market development director, ILOG commented: “Better interaction and communication between business users and the IT department must become a higher priority for UK financial services, if information technology is to fulfill its potential in terms of supporting the overall business strategy. A case in point is SOA. While the IT community is familiar with the concept, our research shows that IT needs to work more closely with business users to highlight how a SOA can make their jobs easier. This approach should encourage a higher approval rate of SOA projects within the financial services sector.

“The survey findings come at a time of heightened merger and acquisition activity within the European financial services industry. It is exactly within this type of environment that an SOA strategy can bring so much value to banks’ IT and business users attempting to consolidate and use a number of different systems.”

The survey questioned 100 department heads within financial services companies in the UK and Germany.

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