Service-Oriented Architecture Impacts Contractors, Agencies
Contractors should prepare for significant long-term effects
The impacts of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) have been mixed to date, but contractors should prepare for significant long-term effects and more SOA-related RFPs, according to a recent report from the INPUT Executive Program (IEP). SOA may change agencies’ acquisition models, while also requiring new contractor sales approaches and removal of some important differentiators formerly enjoyed by technology providers.
“Standardization is the backbone of SOA,” explains Deniece Peterson, senior analyst, IEP at INPUT. “For providers who usually supply proprietary solutions, this will force them to find other ways to be ‘best-of-breed.’ If they don’t, they’ll just become ‘very-easily-replaced.”
The incremental implementations of SOA have caused some to question whether there will really be any “transformation” in government as a result of SOA. IEP’s report finds, however, that agencies are not only making sense of what SOA means and what it can achieve, they are looking for ways to implement SOA organically. As a result, contractors should expect continued growth in the SOA-related market, but not necessarily in large, highly visible programs.
“SOA opportunities may be buried in program requirements, mission support, or in task order purchasing,” said Peterson. “This requires many contractors to re-think their sales strategy for SOA opportunities, at the least. They should also keep their eyes open in case ‘hidden’ SOA implementation impacts their other areas of interest.”
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