Gregg Bjork, Senior Vice President, Products and Services for Systinet, agrees with Spicer that for now, revenue-generating projects are quicker to lead to a good ROI than integration projects. He says this is because in today's hard-pressed economy, "the ability to generate new streams of revenue is vitally important."
As an example, he points to Deutsch-Telekom, which deployed location-based services and provided rich content via a portal built almost exclusively using Web services technology.
"They looked at the cost of deployment, than at the revenue generate post-deployment, and generated an ROI figure," he says. "They were impressed enough that they bought more software and are looking at integrating payment services into the portal."
Bjork says that big cost-savings can be had when using Web services for application integration as well. He claims that the cost of doing integration with Web services is dramatically lower than doing it via traditional enterprise application integration (EAI) products. "The cost of the product for EAI can be from $500,000 to $2.5 million," he claims, while the cost of doing using a Web services platform like that sold by Systinet is from $5,000 to $15,000. He adds that EAI projects also take much longer to complete than Web services projects.
The gentleman who wrote this article is obviously an educated and successfull author, but claiming straightforward and easy to figure out ROI in any IT related field is a tad bit bold. Even with how far reaching technology is these days, any investment or project in any area of technology is going to be a gamble.