In its Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle 2005 Gartner has identified service oriented architecture and Web services as having a huge future impact on business.
But most systems in the enterprise are incapable of taking advantage of SOA, says integration company Wax Digital, and a more selective approach should be adopted.
Steve Thompson, product development team architect at Wax Digital said, "In 80% of the businesses we work with people transfer information by producing files and shipping them around by FTP. Engineering Web services for such systems does not yet make commercial sense, especially where, as is often the case, they are likely to be replaced at some point.
"Most systems in use are years old and will never fit into the Web services universe. Mix and match is the only option for most, using enterprise service bus and business process management software to take data and transform it for use by other apps.
"It's best to adopt a transitional approach with use of Web services where appropriate, especially in building new applications, but leveraging simpler communications in many," he said.