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Gartner: Start Web services efforts now

Analysts from Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., say IT development groups should be implementing Web services pilot programs by 2003 despite the flagging economy.

The IT consulting company concedes that while financial issues may force postponement of broad, costly, Web services projects, its analysts are finding that early, less complex implementations show the technology's cost-savings potential is real.

Based on studies of pilot projects, Gartner analysts have so far concluded that ''Web services is fulfilling its potential as low-risk, high-utility data integration catalysts, but it is also emerging in unusual, visionary projects,'' said Whit Andrews, a research director at Gartner.

Andrews said that during the past year or so, Gartner has monitored companies implementing Web services projects, and has found IT organizations are having some troubles deciding which specific projects should be assigned to Web services development teams. Gartner's advice: Start small to help answer early questions.

''Few enterprises should base a costly, strategic overhaul of mission-critical applications for 2004 or earlier on Web services,'' Andrews said. Most ''companies should begin to experiment with Web services now, developing pilots for deployment no later than 2003.''

For the early efforts, Gartner recommends for the most part that managers assign no more than eight developers per project. Most enterprises in Gartner's study have used fewer than eight developers. ''Typical internal project teams have been closer to three developers, and external development has generally been conducted in such a way that the load for enterprises is distributed to teams of similar size, for instance, two internal and one external developer,'' Andrews said.

For more information on the Gartner research effort, click on http://www.gartner.com/1_researchanalysis/focus/swecosys_fa.html.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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