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Strong Demand For Information Integration Yet Wide Gap Between Needs And Current Capabilities: InterSystems Australian Survey

  • 04 November, 2003 11:12

<p>~ Cost and Resource Issues Largest Problems When Integrating Information Assets ~</p>
<p>Sydney, Australia - November 4, 2003 - Despite strong demand for information integration capabilities, there is a wide gap between organisations' integration needs and what they have achieved to date, according to a new Australian survey undertaken by InterSystems Corporation.</p>
<p>Seeking to better understand customer needs for information integration, InterSystems conducted the in-depth survey of 181 CIOs and IT Managers at 149 large and medium sized Australian organisations in September, 2003. The complete survey findings and methodology are contained in a full report, available at:</p>
<p>The survey found almost universal acceptance for the need to adopt an application integration approach or technology (commonly referred to as enterprise application integration or 'EAI'), although relatively few organisations have actually done so. A third of respondents surveyed had adopted or were implementing application integration solutions such as EAI, a third were either 'in the planning stages' or had it 'on their wish list', and a third said they had 'not yet' adopted a solution, with the clear implication that they expected to.</p>
<p>When asked how much of their corporate information they believe needs to be made available for secure integration, over three quarters of CIOs and IT Managers said more than 40%. However, only one third of CIOs and IT Managers had achieved this goal. More than half said more than 60% needs to be available, compared with only 11% that said they had achieved this goal.</p>
<p>"Organisations have, over the years, gathered a significant amount of valuable information, they just can't make it available when they need it," said Denis Tebbutt, Managing Director of InterSystems in Australia. "This survey confirms there is a wide gap between where organisations are with information integration and where they need to be."</p>
<p>When asked to choose the largest problems when integrating information assets, cost and resourcing issues predominated. Around half of CIOs and IT Managers cited either 'Cost involved during implementation' (36%) or 'Cost involved in maintaining the systems' (18%) as one of the largest problems.</p>
<p>The other major issue was resources. More than half of CIOs and IT Managers nominated either 'Internal resource constraints' (35%) or 'Additional expertise required' (23%) as their biggest information integration problems.</p>
<p>"Clearly, there is an opportunity in this market for a product that can reduce resource and cost barriers," said Mr Tebbutt. "With this month's launch of Ensemble, InterSystems effectively creates a new product category - a comprehensive architecturally consistent integration platform that enables extremely fast integration and eliminates the excessive complexity and services costs typical of the 'technology assembly' approach of integration projects."</p>
<p>CIOs and IT Managers reported that on average they had the equivalent of 10 full-time IT personnel dedicated to the manipulation of data between systems. Taking into account the size of the organisations surveyed, 18.5% of IT staff within Australian organisations were dedicated to data manipulation.</p>
<p>"This suggests significant potential - with improved integration capabilities - for organisations to move IT resources away from unproductive maintenance towards strategic IT initiatives,"
said Mr Tebbutt.</p>
<p>At the heart of the survey was a question which asked: 'What is currently driving the need to integrate your information assets?'. Over half of respondents cited 'Knowledge management and data mining' as the number one driver, a very strong response considering the number of options.</p>
<p>"Modern CIOs and IT Managers are concerned with better understanding the information in their businesses and better extracting its value by utilising it to help achieve their organisation's business goals," said Mr Tebbutt. "The fact it is the number one driver for information integration suggests that organisations are moving beyond data warehousing as a means of analysing and managing their information."</p>
<p>The three next biggest drivers concerned cost reduction, return on investment and efficiency improvement, all characteristic concerns of organisations striving to do more with less. Nearly half of CIOs and IT Managers nominated 'Cost reductions through better access to information', and over four in ten chose 'Improving ROI on existing IT applications' (44%) as well as 'Process automation' (43%).</p>
<p>When asked to consider available integration products and how they would score them, CIOs and IT Managers registered strong negative scores in three of the six categories, 'Additional expertise required', 'Cost to implement' and 'Length of time to complete'. Negative responses outweighed positive responses by 29%, 26%, and 24% respectively. Interestingly, 'Additional expertise required' attracted the worst score, despite being ranked only the number three problem in a previous question.</p>
<p>CIOs and IT Managers were neutral in scoring available products on 'Cost to maintain' (negatives outweighing positives by 4%) and 'Imposing a constraining architecture' (negative and positive responses evenly balanced). Available products rated highly in only one area, 'Performance', with positives outweighing negatives by 31%.</p>
<p>"When considering available products, cost and resources are serious issues with CIOs and IT Managers," said Mr Tebbutt. "While there are no shortage of choices on offer in the application integration market, there is a clear need for products which are easier to use, less costly to implement and faster to deploy."</p>
<p>More than six in ten organisations surveyed were building composite applications - combining functionality from existing applications with new business logic - and over three quarters planned to in the future.</p>
<p>"As companies attempt to get more out of their existing technology infrastructure, composite applications have become an attractive alternative to the development of all new applications," said Mr Tebbutt. "I believe that Ensemble's rapid integration and service-oriented development capabilities are ideal for the composition and integration of legacy and new business components."</p>
<p>Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, InterSystems Corporation ( has served the needs of IT organisations and independent software vendors for more than two decades. InterSystems' showcase products, the Caché post-relational database and the Ensemble integration platform, enable the rapid creation and fast integration of high-performance applications.</p>
<p>Over four million people use mission-critical applications based on InterSystems' software. Twenty regional offices serve application developers and integrators around the world, and 24 x 7 support is provided for all InterSystems products.</p>
<p>How To Write with an Accent: Press and hold ALT and enter 144 on the numeric keypad to put the accent on CACHÉ.</p>
Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications
02 9387 2332,</p>

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