NEW YORK -- For the CEO and chairman of one of networking's biggest vendors, Juniper's Scott Kriens did a lot of wondering aloud today.
"What's the next big thing in IT? What's going to send the market back upward again?" Kriens asked today during his opening keynote. "I think it's SOA [Services Oriented Architecture]. I think applications are more important than infrastructure."
The networking and security spaces in the future will be driven by the need for businesses to link applications to increase speed and flexibility of business objectives, Kriens said. Businesses need to speed their response times and be able to change priorities quickly, he added. And that means changing the way applications operate. And that means changing the way network infrastructure and security work.
Kriens pointed to projections by Gartner that SOA will provide the basis of 80 percent of new software development projects across the industry by 2008. The Yankee Group estimates that SOA applications will be an $11 billion business by 2011. And that's convinced Kriens that SOA will be the catalyst needed to send the IT industry back upward again, following its post-Internet-boom crash.
"There's a big thing looming out there, and this is it," he said.
The sea change will occur as the IT industry -- which currently spends about 70 percent of budgets on infrastructure, rather than app development, according to Gartner -- moves toward an application-oriented business model, Kriens said. He cited figures from Cimi Corp. which indicate that only 20 percent of companies have an adequate infrastructure to support SOA. "The change has to start with infrastructure because of its disproportionate role in the budget."
As SOA takes hold, enterprises will look for ways to implement networking and security that are extremely flexible and can change quickly, Kriens said. "What's important to security is making a faster response to threats and getting better, more complete coverage of the end points." Juniper's recently announced partnership with Symantec is designed to speed the development of these answers, he said. (See Symantec & Juniper Join Forces.)
Kriens said the evolution of the SOA infrastructure would be faster if his fellow vendors (he didnt mention any names) would stop promising the moon. "These vendors keep saying they have the answer to all things, and that causes the buyers to write RFPs asking for the impossible."
"I challenge my fellow vendors -- let's do away with the PowerPoint promises and develop a real understanding of the business problem," Kriens said. "Hopefully, that will lead to real collaboration, a commitment to open standards, real solutions, and real progress."
Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading