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Center Launched To Find Scarce SOA Talent

The use of SOAs is growing because they offer a more flexible, robust and cheaper method of application integration than older technologies.

Analyst firm ZapThink and staffing company Excel Partner on Wednesday launched a consulting service to help companies find IT professionals experienced at building service-oriented architectures.

The lack of IT architects familiar with building SOAs is the biggest hurdle to adoption of the emerging form of distributed computing that leverages Web services standards. The use of SOAs is growing because they offer a more flexible, robust and cheaper method of application integration than older technologies.

"If something is not done, then the SOA market is going to slow and plateau," ZapThink analyst Ronald Schmelzer said.

To help address the problem, ZapThink and Excel have started the Architect Resource Center, which is available online to help companies find potential architect candidates, and experts on staffing and SOAs. To help identify qualified candidates, ZapThink plans to launch, at the end of the month, a program that provides credentialing for IT workers proficient in SOAs and related technologies.

ZapThink and Excel are not the only firms addressing the staffing problem in the SOA market. The Open Group, an industry consortium focused on standards-based integration, is expected to announce a program Monday addressing the SOA staff shortage. The announcement is expected at the group's Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in San Diego. A spokesman declined to provide details.

Schmelzer expects to see more organizations this year announce similar programs. "It's part of a trend we're going to start seeing this year," he said. "There's going to be more talk about the people issues of SOAs, and less about the technology issues."

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