Suppliers of service oriented architecture technology are struggling to deliver what users need, according to research from analyst firm Macehiter Ward-Dutton.
The study looked at SOA platforms and tools from BEA, IBM, Microsoft and SAP, in particular.
Users will get good business value out of SOAs when they do n0t simply consider services to be reusable code that can make IT systems more flexible, said the report. They should also view SOAs as software units that can carry out business tasks and are managed in ways that make their business value easy to understand.
Secondly, organisations need to adopt a methodical approach to SOA initiatives that bridges the different stages of service life-cycle. These include design, test, deployment and operation.
None of the big four suppliers investigated has good answers to the SOA lifecycle management challenge, said the report.
"At the moment, only small specialist companies such as Systinet and Infravio are really looking at this lifecycle management challenge properly," said Neil Ward-Dutton, a partner at the analyst firm.
"Although the large platform suppliers are starting to forge partnerships with these specialists, they are tactical partnerships - they are still relying on the specialists to come up with the answers for customers."