XML Web Services in the Financial Industry: Will we ever cross the firewall?

April 5, 2004
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New York, NY, USA April 5, 2004

XML Web Services in the Financial Services Industry: Will we ever cross the firewall?

Celent expects the expenditure for Web services and XML technologies to increase to US$1.4 billion by 2007 in the US financial services industry.

Today痴 CTO has typically twenty to twenty-five application integration protocols to support. However, the cost of supporting these competing protocols now often outweighs the benefits of an integrated environment. EAI expenditures this year and in 2005 are expected to grow over eleven percent in the US financial services industry alone.

XML Web services could reduce the number of protocols to one industry-wide standard. A single standard will become important as firms continue to look for less expensive ways to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, combine customer and product databases, and aggregate, automate, and outsource business functions.

However, despite incredible progress since the 1998 adoption of the XML standard, Web services standards are still not mature enough to handle many of the complex processes that exist in a modern business, particularly those involving multiple companies. "About two-thirds of Web services implementations deal with internal integration, rather than integration with customers, partners, or public Web services," says Michael Haney, a senior analyst at Celent and author of the report.

For the first time rival companies are coming together for the benefit of the industry to agree upon technologies to support the integration of business applications and processes. As long as this spirit of cooperation continues, Celent expects the expenditure for Web services and XML technologies to increase to US$1.4 billion by 2007 in the US financial services industry. "Firms wishing to adopt the content-centric architecture of XML Web services should continue to push vendors to cooperate and release their IP rights in order to benefit the whole industry," says Haney.

In the first half of this report, Celent examines the evolution of XML Web services, defines the various architectural components, and identifies the organizations promoting the use of Web services. The advantages and limitations of XML Web services are also discussed, as well as future planned enhancements to the evolving standard. Various vendor solutions are highlighted, in addition to the emerging XML industry data models, to assist financial institutions in selecting the correct approach for their firm. The paper concludes with an examination of the use of XML Web services within various sub-sectors of the financial services industry.

The 42-page report includes 14 tables and 21 figures. A

table of contents is available online.

of Celent Communications' Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Retail Securities & Investments, Institutional Securities & Investments, L/H Insurance, and P/C Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact info@celent.com for more information.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


  New York, NY, USA April 5, 2004

XML Web Services 

Return to report Abstract


  The Rise of System Integration 4
  Demand for Open Standards 8
  XML 12
  Communication 13
  Registration & Discovery 13
  The Market Leaders 15
  The Pure-Plays 19
  Why an XML DB? 21
  BPEL 27
  WS- Security & Liberty Alliance 27
  The Importance of Security 29
  Retail Banking: Bank One 38
  Stock Brokerage: Bear Stearns 38
  Credit Cards: First Data 39

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